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Electromagnetic Spectrum


Andrs F. Galrraga

Radio Waves
Electromagnetic Spectrum Portion
Radio waves are a type of invisible electromagnetic radiation which has the longer wavelength in the electromagnetic spectrum, from 1 millimetre to 100 kilometres. It also has a frequency between 300 GHz to 3kHz and just as any other electromagnetic wave the radio wave travels at the speed of light. Radio waves were firstly just predicted in the work done by the Scottish mathematical physicist James Clerk Maxwell back in 1867. His work proposed equations that showed light and radio waves as waves of electromagnetism that could travel in space.min 1887 his "proposed equations" were then confirmed by Heinrich Hertz who experimented generating radio waves in his laboratory.

Finally, generated waves are used are used for fixed and mobile radio communication, broadcasting, radar and other navigation systems, communications satellites, computer networks and innumerable other applications.

Electromagnetic Spectrum Portion

As a form of electromagnetic radiation, microwave wavelengths range from 1 metre to only 1 millimetre, or equally, frequencies between 300 MHz (0.3 GHz) and 300 GHz. Even though Heinrich Hertz, to confirm radio waves, created a spark gap radio transmitter which already produced microwaves the term "microwaves was formally used in 1931. Since then microwaves have had three main and very significant uses. Firstly microwaves were used to communicate as when it started back in the 1950s, most of the long distance phone calls were carried via networks of microwave radio relays which were ran by companies like AT&T. Microwaves are also used as radars because it used its radiation to detect the speed, range and other characteristics of remote objects. Finally, microwaves have been mainly used for heating and power application. The microwave oven, created by the american inventor Percy Spencer, passes microwave radiation through food causing "dielectric heating". This invention became very common in the western kitchens by the 1970s.

Infrared Rays
Electromagnetic Spectrum Portion
Infrared rays are electromagnetic radiation with a longer wavelength from normal visible light and so most of the thermal radiation emitted by any object is infrared. The wide range of wavelength correspond to a frequency range of 430 THz to 300GHz. Infrared rays were discovered in 1800 by the astronomer William Herschel, who found a type of radiation which cannot be seen (invisible) in the light spectrum beyond red light. Since then there has been many new discoveries and advances in technology that have to do with infrared light, the latest was in 2013 February 14th were researchers developed a neural implant that gives rats the ability to sense infrared light which for the first time provides living creatures with new abilities, instead of simply replacing or augmenting existing abilities. Infrared has been an important military tool, their use include target acquisition, surveillance, night vision, homing and tracking. Non-military uses include thermal efficiency analysis, environmental monitoring, industrial facility inspections, remote temperature sensing, shortranged wireless communication and weather forecasting. It is important to state that meteorology, climatology and astronomy also depend on this ray.

Strong infrared radiation in certain industry highheat settings may be hazard to the eyes, resulting in damage or blindness to the user. Since the radiation is invisible, special IR-proof goggles must be worn in such places

Ultraviolet Rays
Electromagnetic Spectrum Portion
Ultraviolet rays, like Infrared rays, are electromagnetic radiation but with a wavelength shorter than normal visible light. It was named so because the spectrum is made of electromagnetic waves which have frequencies higher than waves which the human eye can identify as colour violet. UV light can be found in sunlight, it emits ultraviolet radiation at all wavelengths, including the extreme ultraviolet and it can be emitted by electric arcs and specialised lights such as mercury lamps and black lights. The discovery of the ultraviolet radiation below 200 nm, which was named vacuum ultraviolet because of its strong absorbed by air, was made in 1893 by the German physicist Victor Schumann. And the origin of the term "ultraviolet" means "beyond violet", violet being the colour of the shortest wavelengths of visible light. Ultraviolet rays can be very harmful to humans, overexposure to UVB radiation can cause sunburn and some forms of skin cancer. High intensities of UVB light are hazardous to the eyes, and exposure can cause welder's flash and may lead to cataracts.

Electromagnetic Spectrum Portion
Just as Ultraviolet and Infrared rays, x-rays are electromagnetic radiation, they have wavelengths between 0.01 and 10 nm which can correspond to frequencies between 30 PETAHERTZ and 30 EXAHERTZ. Wilhelm Rntgen is credited as being the person who discovered X-Rays, he named it X-radiation to emphasise it as an unknown type of radiation. There are two types of X-rays, hard and soft rays, and due to its powerful penetrating ability hard X-rays are widely used around the world to create images of the inside objects, for example, a bag. The most obvious use of hard X-rays are medical radiographies. A second common use are airport security and detectors. Just as the other rays, X-rays can have other effects and possibly be health risk factor. Especially diagnosed X-rays can increase the risk of the development of cancer in a human body, due to this the World Health Organisation's International Agency for Research on Cancer classified X-rays as carcinogen.

Gamma Rays
Electromagnetic Spectrum Portion

Gamma Rays or radiation note to extremely high frequency electromagnetic radiation and the smallest wavelength, above 10 exahertz and wavelengths of less than 10 pico-metres, gamma rays can be produced by a wide range of phenomena, both nuclear and non-nuclear. The highly hazardous gamma rays were discovered by a french chemist called Paul Villard in1900 and then it was renamed by Ernest Rutherford in 1903. Gamma-rays have the most energy of all forms of light and are produced by the hottest regions of the universe. Gamma rays travel through long distances in the universe to reach the earth, then the rays are absorbed by its atmosphere. If ever in exposure of gamma rays the health risk is very high, gamma rays can penetrate the human body and produce diffused damage. It can cause cells DNA damage and death, very increased possibility of cancer and skin burns. It is known that the human body is able to repair cells when in exposure of radiation.