The electromagnetic spectrum is the distribution of energies of electromagnetic radiation. It can be expressed in terms of energy, although more commonly it is done in terms of the wavelength and frequencies of the radiations, it ranges from the radiations with the shortest wavelength (gamma rays) to those with the longest wavelength (the waves). radio).
When talking about the electromagnetic spectrum of an object, we refer to the different wavelengths that it emits (called emission spectrum) or absorbs (called absorption spectrum), thus generating a distribution of energy in the form of a set of electromagnetic waves.
The electromagnetic spectrum was discovered as a result of the experiments and contributions of the British James Maxwell, who discovered the presence of electromagnetic waves and formalized the equations of his study (known as Maxwell’s equations).
The uses of the electromagnetic spectrum can be very diverse. For example:
- Radio frequency waves. They are used to transmit information over the air, such as radio, television or Wi-Fi Internet broadcasts.
- The microwaves. They are also used to transmit information, such as mobile (cellular) telephone signals or microwave antennas. It is also used by satellites as a mechanism for transmitting information to the ground, and is also used to heat food in microwave ovens.
- ultraviolet radiation. It is emitted by the Sun and absorbed by plants for photosynthesis, as well as by our skin when we get a tan. It also feeds the fluorescent tubes and allows the existence of facilities such as solariums.
- infrared radiation. It is the one that transmits heat from the Sun to our planet, from a fire to the objects around it, or from a heater inside our rooms.
- The spectrum of visible light. It makes things visible. In addition, it can be used for other visual mechanisms such as cinema, flashlights, etc.
- X-rays. They are used in medicine to take visual impressions of the inside of our bodies, such as our bones, while gamma rays, which are much more violent, are used as a form of radiotherapy or cancer treatment, since they destroy the DNA of cells that are reproducing in disarray.
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