Electromagnetic Spectrum Chart

Type of Light Wave Description of Light
Range: 1000 meters to 1 cm

Radio waves are found at the longest wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum. These are the light waves that are used to send signals to radios and televisions (non-cable).

Range: one-tenth of a mm to 1 cm

Microwaves are used in radar and also in your microwave oven.

Infrared Radiation

Range: Sub-millimeters to micrometers (bacteria size)

Infrared radiation is what we like to describe as heat. We can't see infrared waves, but we can feel them. Your body gives off heat, so it is an emitter of infrared radiation.

The Visible Spectrum

Range: 400 to 700 nanometers

Visible light is the light that we can see and thus is the only light detectable by the human eye. White light is visible light, and it contains all the colors of the rainbow, from red to violet.

Ultraviolet Radiation

Range:  10-8 to 10-10 meters

Ultraviolet light is the radiation from the sun that causes a sunburn when you have been outside too long on a sunny day. You can't see ultra-violet light, so you can still get sunburned on a cloudy day.

Range: 10-10 to 10-12 meters

X-rays are very energetic and are used in X-ray machines to take pictures of your bones.

Range: 10-12 meters (picometers)

Gamma rays are the most energetic light waves found on the electromagnetic spectrum. Gamma rays are released in nuclear reactions and particle collisions.

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