Electromagnetic radiation

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Electromagnetic radiation

Post by wangrong on Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:55 am

Electromagnetic radiation (often abbreviated E-M radiation or EMR) is a phenomenon that takes the form of self-propagating waves in a vacuum or in matter. It comprises electric and magnetic field components, which oscillate in phase perpendicular to each other and perpendicular to the direction of energy propagation.

Electromagnetic radiation is classified into several types according to the frequency of its wave; these types include (in order of increasing frequency and decreasing wavelength): radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays. A small and somewhat variable window of frequencies is sensed by the eyes of various organisms; this is what is called the visible spectrum. The photon is the quantum of the electromagnetic interaction and the basic "unit" of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation and is also the force carrier for the electromagnetic force.

EM radiation carries energy and momentum that may be imparted to matter with which it interacts.

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