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Basic Physics

Basic Physics

Spectra

Spectra

Spectra Spectra Minerals of a planet’s surface, and molecules of an atmosphere give off light of various colors. Some rocks emit more light in the blue end of the spectrum than the red, and so on. These colors are very hard to see without special cameras. The colors are different ...

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Photon

Photon

Photon Photon Light is very strange. Sometimes it is best to think of light as a series of waves. At other times, it is useful to think of light as a swarm of particles. When we think of light as particles, we call those particles of light “photons”. Photons are ...

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Gamma Ray Radiation

Gamma Ray Radiation

Gamma Ray Radiation Gamma ray Radiation are an extremely high-energy form of electromagnetic (EM) radiation. Gamma ray radiation has a much, much shorter wavelength than visible light, so gamma ray photons have much, much higher energies than photons of light do. Gamma rays lie at the extreme high-energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum. ...

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X-ray Radiation

X-ray Radiation

X-ray Radiation X-rays are a high-energy type of electromagnetic (EM) radiation. X-ray radiation has a much shorter wavelength than visible light, so X-ray photons have much higher energies than photons of light. X-rays lie between ultraviolet “light” and gamma rays on the electromagnetic spectrum. X-ray-s have wavelengths between about 10 nanometers (10 x 10-9 meters) and 10 picometers (10 x 10-12 meters). X-ray ...

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Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation

Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation

Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation These two photographs of a flower show how the evening primrose looks in two different wavelengths. The upper panel shows the flower as humans see it in visible light. The lower panel shows the primrose in UV, and reveals the “honey guides” (the dark areas) invisible to ...

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Visible Light

Visible Light

Visible Light Visible light is one way energy uses to get around. Light waves are the result of vibrations of electric and magnetic fields, and are thus a form of electromagnetic (EM) radiation. Visible light is just one of many types of EM radiation, and occupies a very small range of ...

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Infrared (IR) Radiation

Infrared (IR) Radiation Infrared (IR) radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation. Infrared “light” has a longer wavelength than visible light. Red light has a longer wavelength than other colors of light, and infrared has even longer waves than red does; so infrared is sort of “redder-than-red” light or “beyond red” light. We cannot ...

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Radio Waves

Radio Waves

Radio Waves Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation. A radio wave has a much longer wavelength than does visible light. We use radio wave,s extensively for communications. Radio waves have wavelengths as short as a few millimeters (tenths of inches) and as long as hundreds of kilometers (hundreds of miles). Visible light, for ...

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The Electromagnetic Spectrum

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

The Electromagnetic Spectrum Electromagnetic Spectrum Light is a form of electromagnetic radiation that is very familiar to us. However, there are several other forms of electromagnetic (EM) radiation, such as X-rays, radio waves, and ultraviolet and infrared “light”. Together, these different types of EM radiation make up the electromagnetic spectrum. Each section ...

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