Spectrum Of Electromagnetic Radiation

Written by Tara Peris
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Most people do not give much thought to the electromagnetic spectrum. Despite its pivotal role in a good deal of what we see and do each day, it has been left behind with memories of high school physics and other core sciences. However, an understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum is important for understanding how many common devices work and for understanding how our bodies respond to the new technologies that surround them.

The Full Spectrum

The electromagnetic spectrum is a scientific way of talking about radiation or heat energy. It refers to the complete continuum of energy wavelengths, and it is comprised of short wavelengths at one end of the spectrum and long wavelengths at the other. According to NASA resources, the spectrum typically is divided into the following seven categories: radio, microwave, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, x-ray, and gamma ray.

Most common devices rely on low wave frequencies. Thus, pagers, cell phones, and cordless devices generally use lower EMF frequencies than microwaves and other gadgets. What this means is that their level of radiation emission is also relatively minute.

Given that radiation is a form of heat, it is important to understand the level of emissions produced by devices and appliances in our environment. At high levels, radiation can heat human tissue to the point where it causes cell mutation or cell death. Although this is not the case with most household appliances, it is worth monitoring the level of radiation emissions in your home and taking precautions to guard against them.

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