Electromagnetic Waves


The diagram below lists the various names for electromagnetic waves in order, from very short waves on the right, to the longest waves on the left.  Even though different names are used for different wavelengths, they are the same sort of phenomenon—oscillating electric and magnetic fields moving through space.  There is also no sharp dividing line between waves with different names.  They blend into each other, and the ranges are chosen for convenience, since waves of different lengths are detected by different kinds of detectors.  The only waves that our eyes are sensitive to are the visible light waves.  The entire range of electromagnetic range shown below is known as the electromagnetic spectrum.  


The above illustration of the electromagnetic spectrum was developed by NASA.  It was nominated for the 2007 “Picture of the Year” award from Wikimedia.