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Introduction

Observe the things around you, your friend sitting next to you, a large tree across the field. How is it that you are able to see these things? What is it that is leaving your friend's arm and entering your eye so that you can see his arm? It is light. The light originally comes from the sun, or possibly a light bulb or burning fire. In physics, light is given the more technical term electromagnetic radiation, which includes all forms of light, not just the form which you can see with your eyes.

This chapter will focus on the electromagnetic (EM) radiation. Electromagnetic radiation is a self-propagating wave in space with electric and magnetic components. These components oscillate at right angles to each other and to the direction of propagation, and are in phase with each other. Electromagnetic radiation is classified into types according to the frequency of the wave: these types include, in order of increasing frequency, radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays.

Particle/wave nature of electromagnetic radiation

If you watch a colony of ants walking up the wall, they look like a thin continuous black line. But as you look closer, you see that the line is made up of thousands of separated black ants.

Light and all other types of electromagnetic radiation seems like a continuous wave at first, but when one performs experiments with light, one can notice that light can have both wave and particle like properties. Just like the individual ants, the light can also be made up of individual bundles of energy, or quanta of light.

Light has both wave-like and particle-like properties (wave–particle duality), but only shows one or the other, depending on the kind of experiment we perform. A wave-type experiment shows the wave nature, and a particle-type experiment shows particle nature. One cannot test the wave and the particle nature at the same time. A particle of light is called a photon.

Photon

A photon is a quantum (energy packet) of light.

The particle nature of light can be demonstrated by the interaction of photons with matter. One way in which light interacts with matter is via the photoelectric effect, which will be studied in detail in Chapter  [link] .

Particle/wave nature of electromagnetic radiation

  1. Give examples of the behaviour of EM radiation which can best be explained using a wave model.
  2. Give examples of the behaviour of EM radiation which can best be explained using a particle model.

The wave nature of electromagnetic radiation

Accelerating charges emit electromagnetic waves. We have seen that a changing electric field generates a magnetic field and a changing magnetic field generates an electric field. This is the principle behind the propagation of electromagnetic waves, because electromagnetic waves, unlike sound waves, do not need a medium to travel through. EM waves propagate when an electric field oscillating in one plane produces a magnetic field oscillating in a plane at right angles to it, which produces an oscillating electric field, and so on. The propagation of electromagnetic waves can be described as mutual induction .

These mutually regenerating fields travel through empty space at a constant speed of 3 × 10 8 m · s - 1 , represented by c .

Although an electromagnetic wave can travel through empty space, it can also travel through a medium (such as water and air). When an electromagnetic wave travels through a medium, it always travels slower than it would through empty space.

Since an electromagnetic wave is still a wave, the following equation still applies:

v = f · λ

Except that we can replace v with c (if we're dealing with an electromagnetic wave travelling through empty space):

c = f · λ

Calculate the frequency of an electromagnetic wave with a wavelength of 4 , 2 × 10 - 7 m

  1. We use the formula: c = f λ to calculate frequency. The speed of light is a constant 3 × 10 8 m/s.

    c = f λ 3 × 10 8 = f × 4 , 2 × 10 - 7 f = 7 , 14 × 10 14 Hz

An electromagnetic wave has a wavelength of 200 nm . What is the frequency of the radiation?

  1. Recall that all radiation travels at the speed of light ( c ) in vacuum. Since the question does not specify through what type of material the waveis traveling, one can assume that it is traveling through a vacuum. We can identify two properties of the radiation - w a v e l e n g t h ( 200 nm ) and speed ( c ).

  2. c = f λ 3 × 10 8 = f × 200 × 10 - 9 f = 1 . 5 × 10 15 Hz

Questions & Answers

are nano particles real
Missy Reply
yeah
Joseph
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
Lohitha
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
Ali
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
Kamaluddeen
yes
narayan
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
Bhagvanji
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Good
Richard is sitting on his chair and reading a newspaper three (3) meters away from the door
Jeo Reply
The fundamental frequency of a sonometer wire streached by a load of relative density 's'are n¹ and n² when the load is in air and completly immersed in water respectively then the lation n²/na is
Mukesh Reply
Properties of longitudinal waves
Sharoon Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 physical science [caps]. OpenStax CNX. Sep 30, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11305/1.7
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