Wavelength is the distance from one crest of a wave to another, whereas frequency is the number of waves within a second.
The electromagnetic spectrum consists of varying forms of energy within oscillating electric and magnetic fields.
Concept #1: The Electromagnetic Spectrum
Concept #2: Wavelength & Frequency
Concept #3: The relationship between Wavelength & Frequency
Wavelength and Frequency are inversely proportional, meaning that if one increases then the other one must decrease.
Practice: A. Based on the images of different electromagnetic waves, answer each of the following questions.
a) Which electromagnetic wave has the longest wavelength?
b) Which electromagnetic wave has the greatest energy?
c) Which electromagnetic wave has the lowest frequency?
d) Which electromagnetic wave has the largest amplitude?
Concept #4: Converting between Wavelength and Frequency
To convert between wavelength & frequency we use the equation c = ν λ, where c equals the speed of light.
Example #1: Even the music we listen to deals with how energy travels to get to our car radio. If Power 96 broadcasts its music at 96.5 MHz (megahertz, or 106 Hertz) find the wavelength in micrometers and Angstroms of the radio waves.
Practice: Calculate the frequency of the red light emitted by a neon sign with a wavelength of 663.8 nm.