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Electromagnetic Frequency Radiation

March 16, 2013

Introduction to Electromagnetic frequency radiation:

Electromagnetic radiation is a form of energy that is transmitted through space at on enormous velocity. Electromagnetic radiation requires no supporting media. In fact, it passes more readily in a vacuum than in a supporting medium such as air. In contrast to this, other waves, such as sound, do require supporting medium. The most obvious example of electromagnetic radiation is light, which occupies only a small region in a spectrum of electromagnetic radiation.

An electromagnetic radiation is said to have a dual nature, exhibiting both wave and particle characteristics. This duality is not confined to the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum but can be demonstrated for the whole region of electromagnetic radiation. Indeed this duality is useful for the quantitative description of many phenomena.

Wave properties of electromagnetic frequency radiation:

As the name implies, an electromagnetic radiation is an alternating ‘electrical and associated magnetic force field in space’. Thus, an electromagnetic wave has an electric component and a magnetic component. The two components oscillate in planes perpendicular to each other and perpendicular to the direction of propagation of the radiation.


From the above Electromagnetic wave representation, electromagnetic radiation moving along the x-axis. The electric field varies in the direction of y-axis and the corresponding magnetic field varies in the direction of z-axis.

In most of the cases, the various properties of radiation can be described by changing only the electric vector.

The velocity of electromagnetic radiation in vacuum is independent of frequency and has the value of 3×108 m/s. 

Parameters of an electromagnetic frequency radiation:

Wavelength, λ: It is the distance between two successive maxima on an Electromagnetic wave. The usual units of wavelength vary with the region of electromagnetic spectrum. It is expressed in meters.

Frequency of electromagnetic radiation, ν: The number of wavelength units passing through a given point in unit time is called the frequency of electromagnetic radiation. It is denoted by greek letter, ν.  Frequency has units of reciprocal time. It is generally expressed in cycles per seconds or in Hertz (Hz)

Wave number: It is expressed as the number of waves per centimeter in vaccum.

Velocity,v: The product of wavelength and frequency is equal to the velocity of the wave in the medium.

Velocity= wavelength× frequency

V= λ × ν

It has the unit meter per second. (m/s)


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