Search
Ranges and types of electromagnetic waves table
Table shows common classification of electromagnetic waves based on frequency (wavelength). Also, example methods of producing/generating and applications for given wavelengths are presented.

General wave classification

Common nameFrequency rangeWavelength rangeSources and methods of productionExample usage
Low fequency radiation< 10 kHz> 30 kmacoustic transducers, LC and RC generatorselectroacoustics, energy industry, telephony
Radio waves10 kHz - 3 THz100 µm - 30 kmLC, RC generators, masersradio, television, telecommunications, radiolocation, radioastronomy, medicine
Infrared300 GHz - 395 THz759 nm - 1 mmheated bodies, lasers, radiant lamps, the suntelecommunications, medicine, heating, material processing, IR spectroscopy
Visible range395 THz - 790 THz380 nm - 759 nmmercury lamps, heated bodies, lasers, the sun, luminescencetelecommunications, photography, optics, quantitative analysis
Ultraviolet (UV)790 THz - 30 PHz10 nm - 380 nmlasers, mercury lamps, sun, gas discharge, quartz lampstelecommunications, photography, optics, quantitative analysis
X-ray30 PHz - 30 EHz10 pm - 10 nmX-ray tube, decay of radioactive elementstelecommunications, photography, optics
Gamma radiation> 3 EHz< 100 pmcosmic rays, accelerators, X-ray tubes, decay of radioactive elementsmedicine, defectoscopy, nuclear physics

Radio waves

Common nameFrequency rangeWavelength rangeSources and methods of productionExample usage
Radio waves (long)10 kHz - 300 kHz1 km - 30 kmLC, RC generators, masersradio in ITU I region (Europa, Africa)
Radio waves (medium)300 kHz - 3 MHz100 m - 1 kmLC, RC generators, masersradio, non-directional radio beacons, DGPS reference stations, meteorological reports
Radio waves (short)3 MHz - 30 MHz10 m - 100 mLC, RC generators, masersamateur radio (ham radio)
Radio waves (ultra-short, VHF)30 MHz - 300 MHz10 dm - 10 mLC, RC generators, masersterrestrial television, radio broadcasting, pager network
Radio waves (UHF)300 MHz - 3 GHz10 cm - 10 dmLC, RC generators, maserstelevision, mobile telephony, Wi-Fi networks, bluetooth
Micro-waves3 GHz - 3 THz100 µm - 10 cmvacuum tubes, field-effect transistor (FET), tunnel diodes, Gunn diodes, IMPATT diodesmicrowave radars, radar speed measurement, inter-satellite communication, microwave oven

Visible range

ColorFrequency rangeWavelength range
Red389 THz - 491 THz611 nm - 771 nm
Yellow517 THz - 535 THz561 nm - 580 nm
Green535 THz - 612 THz490 nm - 561 nm
Blue612 THz - 625 THz480 nm - 490 nm
Violet652 THz - 789 THz380 nm - 460 nm

Micro-wave bands (IEEE)

Band symbolFrequency rangeWavelength range
1 GHz - 2 GHz1 dm - 3 dm
2 GHz - 4 GHz8 cm - 1 dm
4 GHz - 8 GHz4 cm - 8 cm
8 GHz - 12 GHz3 cm - 4 cm
12 GHz - 18 GHz2 cm - 3 cm
18 GHz - 26 GHz1 cm - 2 cm
26 GHz - 40 GHz8 mm - 1 cm
300 GHz - 300 GHz1 mm - 1 mm

Micro-wave bands (NATO)

Band symbolFrequency rangeWavelength range
< 250 MHz> 1 m
250 MHz - 500 MHz6 dm - 1 m
500 MHz - 1 GHz3 dm - 6 dm
1 GHz - 2 GHz1 dm - 3 dm
2 GHz - 3 GHz10 cm - 1 dm
3 GHz - 4 GHz8 cm - 10 cm
4 GHz - 6 GHz5 cm - 8 cm
6 GHz - 8 GHz4 cm - 5 cm
8 GHz - 10 GHz3 cm - 4 cm
10 GHz - 20 GHz2 cm - 3 cm
20 GHz - 40 GHz8 mm - 2 cm
40 GHz - 60 GHz5 mm - 8 mm
60 GHz - 100 GHz3 mm - 5 mm

Some facts

  • Electromagnetic waves are disturbances of electromagnetic field displaced in space.
  • Electromagnetic waves propagate at the speed of light.
  • One of the most basic parameters describing a wave (not only electromagnetic) is its frequency.
  • Since the frequency of the wave is directly related to its length, we can equally determine the wave by giving its length. The relationship between the length and the frequency of the electromagnetic wave is as follows:
    λ=cν\lambda = \frac{c}{\nu}

    where:
    • λ\lambda - wavelength,
    • ν\nu - wave frequency,
    • cc - speed of light.
  • The waves classification based on the wavelength or frequency is conventional and has the practical meaning. This means that individual sources may deliver slightly different bands.
  • The classification based on wavelength does not have to be strictly consistent with frequency based one. Often for convenience (i.e. to avoid fractional values), we round speed of light to 300,000 km/s when converting one classification to another.
  • The properties of electromagnetic waves are described by Maxwell's equations:
    ×E=Bt×B=μj+μεEtεE=ρB=0 \begin{aligned} & \nabla \times \vec{E} = -\frac{\partial \vec{B}} {\partial {t}} \\ & \nabla \times \vec{B} = \mu \vec{j} +\mu \varepsilon \frac{\partial \vec{E}} {\partial {t}} \\ & \varepsilon \nabla \cdot \vec{E} = \rho \\ & \nabla \cdot \vec{B} = 0 \end{aligned}

    gdzie:
  • Historically, phenomena related to electricity and magnetism (and therefore the electric and magnetic field and their changes) were two separate branches of science. Maxwell's equations gave a coherent description joining both fields into one. Thanks to this, there is no need to speak separately about the magnetic and electric field anymore. We can simply use the term electromagnetic field instead.
  • Electric and magnetic fields are special cases of the electromagnetic field. Despite a coherent mathematical apparatus, which eliminates the need to distinguish between these two types of fields, sometimes the concepts of magnetic or electric field are used separately if it's handful.

Tags and links to this website

Permalink

This is permalink. Permalink is the link containing your input data. Just copy it and share your work with friends:

Links to external sites (leaving Calculla?)

JavaScript failed !
So this is static version of this website.
This website works a lot better in JavaScript enabled browser.
Please enable JavaScript.