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10 Examples of Electromagnetic Waves

September 9, 2023
written by Qamar Zaman

Electromagnetic waves are a form of energy that propagates through space as a wave. Examples of electromagnetic waves include radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, and lightning. Electromagnetic waves have many applications in technology.

Examples of electromagnetic waves

Electromagnetic waves are all around us and are a part of our everyday lives. Here are 10 common examples of electromagnetic waves that you may encounter.

image showing the Examples of electromagnetic waves

1. Radio Waves

The radio wave is one of the common examples of electromagnetic waves. Radio waves have wavelengths from about 1 millimeter to 100 kilometers. They are used for radio and television broadcasting, wireless internet, microwave communications, Bluetooth, GPS, and more. Radio waves can pass through walls and other objects.

2. Microwaves

Microwave is another example of electromagnetic wave. Microwave wavelengths range from about 1 millimeter to 1 meter. Microwaves are commonly used for microwave ovens, radar systems, telecommunication networks, and satellite communications.

3. Infrared Waves

Infrared wavelengths range from 700 nanometers to 1 millimeter. Infrared waves are used for thermal imaging, night vision devices, spectroscopy, lasers, heating systems, and more. Infrared waves can be felt as heat.

4. Visible Light

Visible light is a very common example of electromagnetic waves. We can see the objects with the help of visible light. Visible light makes up a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum from about 380 to 740 nanometers. We see these waves as the colors of the rainbow. Visible light is used for illumination, photography, display screens, lasers, and more.

5. Ultraviolet Rays

Ultraviolet waves range from 10 to 400 nanometers. UV rays have shorter wavelengths than visible light. UV light has medical uses for sterilization and treating conditions like psoriasis. It can also cause sunburn.

6. X-rays

X-rays have wavelengths from about 0.01 nanometers to 10 nanometers. X-rays are used medically to see inside the human body and also for security scanning. They have high energy and can be hazardous with prolonged exposure.

7. Gamma Rays

Gamma rays have the shortest wavelengths, less than 0.01 nanometers. They result from radioactive decay and nuclear explosions. Gamma rays are used to kill cancer cells and are hazardous.

8. Electricity

We use electricity in daily life. It is also an example of electromagnetic waves. The oscillating electric and magnetic fields in wiring and electrical devices constitute electromagnetic waves that can propagate energy.

9. Magnetism

Magnetism is also an example of electromagnetic waves. Changes in magnetic fields produce electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic induction uses magnetic fields to generate electricity.

10. Lightning

Lightning forms massive electromagnetic fields and discharges. The resulting electromagnetic pulse can disrupt electronic devices.

These are just a few examples of the many different types of electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves are all around us and play an important role in our everyday lives.

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