Understanding Electromagnetic Radiation


Do you know that we make use of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and at the same time subjected to it? Electromagnetic energy is termed to describe as the energy released by the sun and stars into space. Although we cannot absorb EMR entirely because of the ozone layer, we have learned how to make it beneficial to us.

Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum- What is it?

EMR has a wide range which is known as electromagnetic spectrum. It has two major parts: non-ionizing and ionizing radiation. Non-ionizing radiation has a fairly low energy radiation and is placed at the electromagnetic spectrum’s low end. Where can we find non-ionizing radiation? Visible lights, lasers and power lines are to name a few.

Ionizing radiation is produced by a process in which an electron is charged enough to separate from the atom. The moment it disintegrates itself from the atom’s orbit which results the atom to be ionized.

Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum and its Parts

1) Radio waves- radio waves is a spectrum of EMR that is used for submarines, mines, time signals, AM radio, shortwave radio, FM radio, TV, mobile phones, GPS and radio astronomy.

2) Microwaves- this type of radiation has extremely high frequency radio waves and is composed of different types of transmitter. This technology is especially helpful in relaying telephone calls and television programs to transmitter antennae.

3) Terahertz radiation- it is the type of electromagnetic radiation that is categorized as a safe, non-ionizing type. It can penetrate on paper, cardboard and other light materials and it can also move through fog and clouds. They cannot pass through metal or water. Its wavelength is shorter than microwaves but significantly longer than infrared.

4) Infrared light-  this type of radiation is responsible for the benefits of  cameras, tracking, night vision, and remotes.

5) Visible light – this kind of waves are evident in the way we see colors. The moment our eyes a fraction of electromagnetic spectrum, we use the visible light to see our surroundings.

6) X-rays- this is a kind of electromagnetic radiation that is most useful for medical imaging. Also, it is beneficial for cancer treatment.

7) Gamma ray- Gamma rays have the high frequency and energy but is shorter than wavelength rays. Medically, it is highly useful in eliminating bacteria from medical instruments. It is also used to discover heart and brain irregularities.

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Further Reading..

In America 20 million kids under the age of fourteen have cell phones and in Australia one in four 9 year old's has their own phone.

More reading if you are considering a mobile phone for your child or teenager

From the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) comes a fact sheet on the use of wireless devices..

"Due to the lack of scientific evidence on mobile and cordless phone use by children, ARPANSA recommends that parents encourage their children to limit their exposure,''

They also suggest that baby monitors be kept a meter away from cots, to minimise any electromagnetic emissions.

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