Electromagnetic Spectrum (EM Spectrum) Working & Its Applications

Electromagnetic radiation or EM radiation is a noticeable part of the spectrum. It is one kind of way to travel energy through space. The different forms of electromagnetic energy mainly include heat from the fire, the sunlight, microwave energy while cooking, rays from X-ray, etc. These energy forms are very different from each other but they exhibit wavelike properties. For instance, if we go swimming in the sea, you are previously recognizable with waves. These waves are only troubles in a particular field and result in oscillations or vibrations. Similarly, electromagnetic waves are related, but they are separate and consist of 222 waves which oscillate at a 90-degree angle to each other. The complete EM radiation set is known as the electromagnetic spectrum, and it is separated into different sections for simplifying things like radio, infrared, microwave, visible, UV rays, gamma-rays, X-rays). This is constant as well as never-ending.

What is an Electromagnetic Spectrum?

The term Electromagnetic spectrum can be defined as, the distribution of entire electromagnetic radiation based on the wave’s wavelength and frequency. Though, all the waves can travel in a vacuum at the light speed in a broad range of frequencies, wavelengths & photon energies. This spectrum includes the distance of all electromagnetic radiation as well as many sub-ranges, usually called as portions like UV radiation, otherwise visible light.

The various portions of spectrum allow dissimilar names depending on the dissimilarity within emission behavior, transmission, and absorption of the associated waves. The frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum from low to high mainly comprises all the waves like radio, IR, etc.

The entire electromagnetic spectrum from the lowest to the highest frequency mainly comprises all radio IR radiation, noticeable light, UV radiation, X-rays & gamma rays. Almost all wavelengths & frequencies use electromagnetic radiation which can be utilized for spectroscopy.

Basic Properties of Waves

The basic properties of waves mainly include amplitude, wavelength & frequency. We know that fact, that light can be composed of electromagnetic radiation which is frequently treated like a wave phenomenon. A wave includes the lowest point known as trough & the highest point known as the crest. The amplitude is the vertical distance among the tilt of a crest & the central axis of the wave. These properties mainly connected with the intensity otherwise brightness of the wave. The horizontal distance among two successive troughs or crests is called the wavelength. It is frequently denoted with the symbol λ (lambda).

The light’s energy can be calculated by this equation E = h.c / λ


In the above equation,

‘E’ is the light’s energy
‘h’ is the Planck’s constant
‘c’ is the light’s velocity
‘λ’ is the wavelength

Therefore, when the wavelength increases, the light energy will be decreased.

Because frequency (ν) = c / λ

The above equation can be written as E = h. ν

Therefore, when the frequency increases, then the light’s energy will be increased. So the relation between wavelength and frequency is inversely proportional.

Electromagnetic Spectrum Table

The electromagnetic radiation spectrum can be occurred due to different rays like IR, radio, UV, visible, UV, X-Ray, etc. The electromagnetic spectrum wavelengths have the highest wavelength whereas gamma rays have the shortest wavelength range.


Radio Microwave Infrared Visible Ultraviolet X-Rays

Gamma Rays

Wavelength (Angstroms)

>10 9

10 9 to 10 6 106 – 7,000 7,000    to 4,000 4,000 to 10 10 to 0.1 < 0.1

Wavelength (Centimeters)


10 to 0.01 0.01 to 7 x 10-5 7×10-5 to 4×105 4×10-5 to10-7 10-7 to 10-9

< 10-9

Frequency (Hz)

< 3x 109

3x 109 to 3x 1012 3x 1012 to 4.3 x 1014 4.3×1014








3×1017 to 3×1019

> 3X109



< 10-5 10-5 to 0.01 0.01 to 2 2 to 3 3 to 103 103 to 105


The electromagnetic (EM) spectrum is planned which is shown in the above figure, The visible spectrum is arranged in the center from lesser to upper wavelengths within the order of left to right. Therefore the left visible spectrum is indicated in violet color, whereas the right visible spectrum is indicated with red color. The electromagnetic spectrum diagram is shown below.


In the Direction of the Left

The UV Spectrum (Ultraviolet Spectrum)

Moving more toward the left side of the visible spectrum, it lies in the UV region. Though it is not noticeable to the human eye, and this UV region will appear in violet because it is nearer toward the violet area of the spectrum. The range of UV spectrum lies between the 10 nm – 400 nm.


Moving toward the left side of the UV spectrum, initially, we have the X-rays which range from 0.01 nm to 10 nm. This region can also be separated into two depending on their penetrability. These are extremely penetrable, and they have superior energy and wavelengths which ranges from 0.01 nm to 0.1 nm.

Gamma Rays

Moving toward the left of X-rays, we have the most energetic rays like gamma rays. The radiations of these rays do not contain any lesser edge of wavelength; however, their higher limit lies on 0.01 nm. The energy and penetrability of these rays are very high.

In the Direction of the Right

IR Spectrum (Infrared Spectrum): When we move toward the right side of the visible spectrum, then we have the IR spectrum region. Comparable to the Ultraviolet spectrum, the IR spectrum is not visible, but since the area is nearer to the red color region of the visible spectrum, then it is named as the infrared region. The wavelength range of the IR spectrum ranges from 780nm to 1mm. This kind of spectrum further split-up into three regions:

  • The near-infrared spectrum ranges from 780 nm to 2,500 nm.
  • Mid Infrared spectrum ranges from 2,500 nm to 10,000 nm.
  • Far Infrared spectrum ranges from 10,000 nm to 1000 μm


When we move toward the right side of the visible spectrum, then we have the microwaves. The wavelengths of microwaves would most possibly exist in the range of micrometer. The range of these waves ranges from 1 mm – 10 cm.

Radio Spectrum

When we move toward the right side of the visible spectrum, then we have the radio frequency (RF) region. The radio spectrum region overlaps with the microwave region. But, it officially starts at 10 cm.

Electromagnetic Spectrum Uses / Applications

  • Gamma rays are used for killing the bacteria in marshmallows &to sanitize medical equipment
  • X-rays are used for scanning the structures of image bone
  • Ultraviolet light can observe bees because flowers can stand-out visibly at this frequency
  • Visible light is used to view the world by humans
  • Infrared is used in laser metal cutting, night vision, and heat sensors,
  • Microwave is used in radar, and microwave ovens
  • Radio waves are used in radio, TV broadcasts

Thus, this is all about the electromagnetic spectrum and it includes a set of electromagnetic waves in different frequencies. But these are invisible to human eyes. Daily, we are enclosed by these types of waves because everybody is exposed to magnetic as well as electric fields at the workplace or home from the electricity transmission and generation of domestic machines, industrial tools to telecommunications & broadcasting. Here is a question for you, what is the electromagnetic spectrum range?