Skip to main content
Electromagnetic Wave Properties

We explore electromagnetic wave properties and the electromagnetic spectrum. The wave nature and particle nature of light are compared. We also examine how the wave velocity equation is applied to light.

Unit 6 Segment F: Electromagnetic Wave Properties We explore electromagnetic wave properties and the electromagnetic spectrum. We also compare the wave nature and particle nature of light. How the wave velocity equation is applied to light is also discussed.

Premiere Date: July 31, 2018 | Runtime: 00:11:44

Support Materials

Learning Objectives

-Explore the electromagnetic spectrum.

-Be able to identify radiation at different frequencies and list ways they are useful in our everyday life.

-Calculate using the wave velocity equation as it applies to the speed of light where the speed of light equals the frequency multiplied by the wavelength of a wave.

-Describe the photoelectric effect and why it explains the particle nature of light.

-Explore the nature of the wave-particle duality of light.

Toolkit

Note-Taking Guide and Questions to Consider
Download
Practice Problems
Download
Properties of Electromagnetic Waves Lab
Download

Vocabulary

amplitude - the height of a transverse wave measured from the equilibrium position to the top of a crest or the bottom of a trough.

crest - the highest point on a transverse wave.

electromagnetic spectrum - the range of wavelengths or frequencies over which electromagnetic radiation extends, includes radio, microwave, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, x-ray, and gamma radiation.

far infrared - infrared waves that are far from visual light.

frequency (f) - the number of wavelengths that pass by a given point every second; SI unit is the Hertz (Hz).

gamma radiation - a part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths less than 1pm; used in cancer treatment and also given off by supernova and the sun.

infrared radiation - a part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths from 1μm - 1mm in length; we experience these waves as heat, some are used in remote controls.

microwave radiation - a part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths from 1mm-1m in length; used with communication satellites, microwave ovens, and cell phones.

near infrared -infrared waves that are closer to visual light.

period (T) - the length of time it takes for a wavelength to pass by a given point in space measured in seconds; SI unit is seconds (s).

photoelectric effect - the emission of electrons when light shines on a material.

picometer - one trillionth of a meter, 10-12.

radio radiation - a part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths from 1cm -1km in length; uses include being used to transmit AM, FM, and television signals.

trough - the lowest point on a transverse wave.

ultraviolet radiation - a part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths from 10nm-400nm in length; emitted by the sun and can penetrate living cells.

visible light radiation - a part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths from 400nm - 700nm in length; the part of the electromagnetic spectrum we can see with our eyes.

wavelength (λ) - the length on a transverse wave that includes one full crest and one full trough; SI unit is the meter (m).

wave-particle duality - the idea that light behaves like a particle and like a wave.

X-ray radiation - a part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths from 0.01nm - 10 nm in length; can penetrate skin and muscle but, are blocked by bone allowing for the formation of x-ray images.

Georgia Standards of Excellence

SP4
Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the properties and applications of waves.
a
Develop and use mathematical models to explain mechanical and electromagnetic waves as a propagating disturbance that transfers energy. (Clarification statement: Mathematically describe how the velocity, frequency, and wavelength of a propagating wave are related.)
d
Plan and carry out investigations to characterize the properties and behavior of electromagnetic waves. (Clarification statement: Properties of waves include, but not limited to, amplitude, frequency, wavelength, and the relationship between frequency or wavelength and the energy of the wave.)

Request Teacher Toolkit

The Physics in Motion teacher toolkit provides instructions and answer keys for study questions, practice problems, labs for all seven units of study.  GPB offers the teacher toolkit at no cost to Georgia educators. It will be available in September 2018. To preorder your teacher toolkit, complete and submit this form to request the teacher toolkit. You only need to submit this form one time to get materials for all seven units of study.