Electromagnetic radiation

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Electromagnetic radiation


The entire spectrum of radiant energy or light. Electromagnetic radiation travels though space at the speed of light in the form of photons. Each photon is characterized by its specific frequency and wavelength. The highest energy photons have the shortest wavelengths. Some groups of electromagnetic radiation are (from high energy to low energy): cosmic rays, gamma rays, x-rays, Ultraviolet radiation, Visible radiation, Infrared radiation, microwaves, and radio waves. The effects of radiation are measured in terms of its quality (wavelength distribution), quantity (intensity or energy) and duration (time).

Synonyms and Related Terms

electromagnetic spectrum; EMS; electromagnetic energy; electromagnetic waves; radiation; light; elektromagnetisk stråling (Dan., Nor.); Elektromagnetische Wellen (Deut.); radiación electromagnética (Esp.); rayonnement électromagnétique (Fr.); elektromagnetische straling (Ned.); Radiação electromagnética (Port.); elektromagnetisk strålning (Sven.)

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Thomas B. Brill, Light Its Interaction with Art and Antiquities, Plenum Press, New York City, 1980
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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