CATCH THE WAVE – let there be light!

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I present this as an accompaniment to a post called “More to it than meets the eye” I hope this, what might seem low-tech or semi-basic explanation (not for me :-/) sheds some light on this topic.

image curtesy of OLYMPUS

“…visible light is the type of electromagnetic wave to which our eyes respond. Like all other electromagnetic waves, it obeys the equation c = , where c = 3 × 108 m/s is the speed of light in vacuum, f is the frequency of the electromagnetic waves, and λ is its wavelength” (more).

“A wavelength is the distance between two consecutive peaks of a wave. This distance is given in meters (m) or fractions thereof. Frequency is the number of waves that form in a given length of time. It is usually measured as the number of wave cycles per second, or hertz (Hz)”(..more).

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Electromagnetic waves (EM waves) categories:

Radio & TV used for communication and remote controls, microwaves are used for communications and applications can be found in ovens and radar. Infrared for thermal imaging and heating, visible light is all pervasive. Additionaly there is also ultraviolet, X rays, and Gamma rays (out of this world!). (there are also waves such as water, sound etc.) These categories allow us to understand their similarities and differences.

Visible light is produced by vibrations and rotations of atoms and molecules, as well as by electronic transitions within atoms and molecules. The lumen physics webpage “…shows this part of the spectrum, together with the colors associated with particular pure wavelengths. We usually refer to visible light as having wavelengths of between 400 nm and 750 nm. (The retina of the eye actually responds to the lowest ultraviolet frequencies, but these do not normally reach the retina because they are absorbed by the cornea and lens of the eye.)

Red light has the lowest frequencies and longest wavelengths, while violet has the highest frequencies and shortest wavelengths. Blackbody radiation from the Sun peaks in the visible part of the spectrum but is more intense in the red than in the violet, making the Sun yellowish in appearance”. (..more).

“IR is a type of electromagnetic radiation, a continuum of frequencies produced when atoms absorb and then release energy. From highest to lowest frequency, electromagnetic radiation includes gamma-raysX-raysultraviolet radiation, visible light, infrared radiation, microwaves and radio waves(..more). “Below the various types of electromagnetic waves are categorized according to their wavelengths and frequencies—that is, it shows the electromagnetic spectrum”(Lumen Physics).


Live Science: What is Infrared?

LUMEN Physics, The Electromagnetic Spectrum


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