How Do Electromagnetic Waves Travel?

How Do Electromagnetic Waves Travel

Definition: Electromagnetic waves or EM waves are waves that are created as a result of vibrations between an electric field and a magnetic field. In other words, EM waves are composed of oscillating magnetic and electric fields. Description: Electromagnetic waves are formed when an electric field comes in contact with a magnetic field.

They are hence known as ‘electromagnetic’ waves. The electric field and magnetic field of an electromagnetic wave are perpendicular (at right angles) to each other. They are also perpendicular to the direction of the EM wave.

EM waves travel with a constant velocity of 3. 00 x 108 ms-1 in vacuum. They are deflected neither by the electric field, nor by the magnetic field. However, they are capable of showing interference or diffraction. An electromagnetic wave can travel through anything — be it air, a solid material or vacuum.

It does not need a medium to propagate or travel from one place to another. Mechanical waves (like sound waves or water waves), on the other hand, need a medium to travel. EM waves are ‘transverse’ waves. This means that they are measured by their amplitude (height) and wavelength (distance between the highest/lowest points of two consecutive waves).

The highest point of a wave is known as ‘crest’, whereas the lowest point is known as ‘trough’. Electromagnetic waves can be split into a range of frequencies. This is known as the electromagnetic spectrum. Examples of EM waves are radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves, X-rays, gamma rays, etc..

What are electromagnetic waves and how do they travel?

Propagation of an Electromagnetic Wave — Electromagnetic waves are waves which can travel through the vacuum of outer space. Mechanical waves, unlike electromagnetic waves, require the presence of a material medium in order to transport their energy from one location to another.

Sound waves are examples of mechanical waves while light waves are examples of electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves are created by the vibration of an electric charge. This vibration creates a wave which has both an electric and a magnetic component.

Understanding Electromagnetic Radiation! | ICT #5

An electromagnetic wave transports its energy through a vacuum at a speed of 3. 00 x 10 8 m/s (a speed value commonly represented by the symbol c ). The propagation of an electromagnetic wave through a material medium occurs at a net speed which is less than 3.

  • 00 x 10 8 m/s;
  • This is depicted in the animation below;
  • The mechanism of energy transport through a medium involves the absorption and reemission of the wave energy by the atoms of the material;
  • When an electromagnetic wave impinges upon the atoms of a material, the energy of that wave is absorbed;

The absorption of energy causes the electrons within the atoms to undergo vibrations. After a short period of vibrational motion, the vibrating electrons create a new electromagnetic wave with the same frequency as the first electromagnetic wave. While these vibrations occur for only a very short time, they delay the motion of the wave through the medium.

Once the energy of the electromagnetic wave is reemitted by an atom, it travels through a small region of space between atoms. Once it reaches the next atom, the electromagnetic wave is absorbed, transformed into electron vibrations and then reemitted as an electromagnetic wave.

While the electromagnetic wave will travel at a speed of c (3 x 10 8 m/s) through the vacuum of interatomic space, the absorption and reemission process causes the net speed of the electromagnetic wave to be less than c. This is observed in the animation below. The actual speed of an electromagnetic wave through a material medium is dependent upon the optical density of that medium. Different materials cause a different amount of delay due to the absorption and reemission process. Furthermore, different materials have their atoms more closely packed and thus the amount of distance between atoms is less. These two factors are dependent upon the nature of the material through which the electromagnetic wave is traveling.

How do electromagnetic waves travel and how fast does do they travel?

Electromagnetic Radiation. — Electromagnetic radiation is an electric and magnetic disturbance traveling through space at the speed of light (2. 998 × 108 m/s). It contains neither mass nor charge but travels in packets of radiant energy called photons, or quanta.

Examples of EM radiation include radio waves and microwaves, as well as infrared, ultraviolet, gamma, and x-rays. Some sources of EM radiation include sources in the cosmos (e. , the sun and stars), radioactive elements, and manufactured devices.

EM exhibits a dual wave and particle nature. Electromagnetic radiation travels in a waveform at a constant speed. The wave characteristics of EM radiation are found in the relationship of velocity to wavelength (the straight line distance of a single cycle) and frequency (cycles per second, or hertz, Hz), expressed in the formula c = λ v where c = velocity, λ = wavelength, and v = frequency.

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Because the velocity is constant, any increase in frequency results in a subsequent decrease in wavelength. Therefore, wavelength and frequency are inversely proportional. All forms of EM radiation are grouped according to their wavelengths into an electromagnetic spectrum, seen in Figure 1-3.

The particle-like nature of EM radiation manifests in the interaction of ionizing photons with matter. The amount of energy (E) found in a photon is equal to its frequency ( ν ) times Planck’s constant (h): E = ν h Photon energy is directly proportional to photon frequency.

  1. Photon energy is measured in eV or keV (kilo-electron volts);
  2. The energy range for diagnostic x-rays is 40 to 150 keV;
  3. Gamma rays, x-rays, and some ultraviolet rays possess sufficient energy (>10 keV) to cause ionization;

The energy of EM radiation determines its usefulness for diagnostic imaging. Because of their extremely short wavelengths, gamma rays and x-rays are capable of penetrating large body parts. Gamma rays are used in radionuclide imaging. X-rays are used for plain film and computed tomography (CT) imaging.

  1. Visible light is applied to observe and interpret images;
  2. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses radiofrequency EM radiation as a transmission medium (see Fig;
  3. 1-3 );
  4. Read full chapter URL:  https://www;
  5. sciencedirect;

com/science/article/pii/B9780323084956000014.

Why do electromagnetic waves travel?

An EM wave can travel without a material medium—that is, in a vacuum or space empty of matter—and does not lose energy as it moves. In theory, an EM wave can travel forever. Because they do not need a medium , EM waves can pass through outer space, which is a near vacuum.

Where does electromagnetic wave travel?

Electromagnetic waves are invisible forms of energy that travel though the universe. However, you can «see» some of the results of this energy. The light that our eyes can see is actually part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum consists of the colors that we see in a rainbow — from reds and oranges, through blues and purples. Electromagnetic waves The sound we hear is a result of waves which we cannot see. Sound waves need something to travel through in order for it to move from one place to the next. Sound can travel through air because air is made of molecules. These molecules carry the sound waves by bumping into each other, like dominoes knocking each other over.

  • Each of these colors actually corresponds to a different wavelength of light;
  • Sound can travel through anything made of molecules — even water! There is no sound in space because there are no molecules there to transmit the sound waves;

Electromagnetic waves are not like sound waves because they do not need molecules to travel. This means that electromagnetic waves can travel through air, solid objects and even space. This is how astronauts on spacewalks use radios to communicate. Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic wave. Electromagnetic spectrum Electricity can be static, like what holds a balloon to the wall or makes your hair stand on end. Magnetism can also be static like a refrigerator magnet. But when they change or move together, they make waves — electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves are formed when an electric field (which is shown in red arrows) couples with a magnetic field (which is shown in blue arrows).

Magnetic and electric fields of an electromagnetic wave are perpendicular to each other and to the direction of the wave. When you listen to the radio, watch TV, or cook dinner in a microwave oven, you are using electromagnetic waves.

Radio waves, television waves, and microwaves are all types of electromagnetic waves. They only differ from each other in wavelength. Wavelength is the distance between one wave crest to the next. Waves in the electromagnetic spectrum vary in size from very long radio waves the size of buildings, to very short gamma-rays smaller than the size of the nucleus of an atom.

Yet their size can be related to their energy. The smaller the wavelength the higher the energy. For example, a brick wall blocks visible light wave lengths. Smaller, more energetic, x-rays can pass through brick walls, but themselves are blocked by denser material such as lead.

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While it can be said waves are «blocked» by certain materials, the correct understanding is that wave lengths of energy are «absorbed» by objects, or not. That is, wave length energy can be absorbed by certain material. We use this knowledge in weather satellites as the atmosphere also absorbs some wave lengths while allowing others to pass through..

What do EM waves transport?

Electromagnetic waves transport energy and momentum across space. The energy and momentum transported by an electromagnetic wave are not continuously distributed over the wave front. Energy and momentum are transported by photons in discrete packages. Photons are the particles of light.

Why do electromagnetic waves travel at the speed of light?

In short, EM waves travel at the speed of light because c≡1√μ0ε0. This quantity comes from the wave equation found by combining Faraday’s Law of Induction and Ampere’s Circuital Law.

How do electromagnetic waves travel without medium?

ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES — Electricity can be static, like the energy that can make your hair stand on end. Magnetism can also be static, as it is in a refrigerator magnet. A changing magnetic field will induce a changing electric field and vice-versa—the two are linked.

These changing fields form electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves differ from mechanical waves in that they do not require a medium to propagate. This means that electromagnetic waves can travel not only through air and solid materials, but also through the vacuum of space.

In the 1860’s and 1870’s, a Scottish scientist named James Clerk Maxwell developed a scientific theory to explain electromagnetic waves. He noticed that electrical fields and magnetic fields can couple together to form electromagnetic waves. He summarized this relationship between electricity and magnetism into what are now referred to as «Maxwell’s Equations. » Heinrich Hertz, a German physicist, applied Maxwell’s theories to the production and reception of radio waves. The unit of frequency of a radio wave — one cycle per second — is named the hertz, in honor of Heinrich Hertz. His experiment with radio waves solved two problems. First, he had demonstrated in the concrete, what Maxwell had only theorized — that the velocity of radio waves was equal to the velocity of light! This proved that radio waves were a form of light! Second, Hertz found out how to make the electric and magnetic fields detach themselves from wires and go free as Maxwell’s waves — electromagnetic waves.

Why do electromagnetic waves not require a medium for travel?

The electromagnetic waves are not mechanical waves. There are vibrations of electric vector and magnetic vector in them. These vibrations do not need any particles present in the medium for their propagation. That’s why electromagnetic waves do not require any medium for propagation.

How do electromagnetic waves travel through a vacuum?

Electromagnetic waves do not need a medium to propagate, they can pass through vacuum easily which is a near vacuum. Electromagnetic waves spread outward in all directions from the source of disturbance. The waves then continue to travel until something ineterferes them.

How far can electromagnetic waves travel?

$\begingroup$ Radio waves are like other frequency E&M radiation in that they can travel infinitely far in a vacuum at the speed c. c = 2. 998×10^8 m/sec. Photons can have the frequency associated with the radio frequency. answered Jun 28, 2019 at 15:02 How Do Electromagnetic Waves Travel Natsfan Natsfan 2,612 2 gold badges 8 silver badges 12 bronze badges $\endgroup$ $\begingroup$ Radio waves are just a less energetic version of infra red or visible light, so like the other wavelengths they have a particle aspect (photons) as well as a wave aspect. Nobody really understands wave/particle duality, you can only see whichever aspect your equipment is designed to detect. As to how far they can travel in a vacuum, the electromagnetic force reaches to infinity. Radio waves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, so the answer is any distance you care to mention.

I think the furthest yet detected by radio telescopes have travelled nearly 14 billion miles. Bear in mind that at distances of billions of miles, photons become red-shifted due to the expansion of the universe, so may not have started out as radio waves.

Other factors such as gravity can also red shift them. Space is not a perfect vacuum, which doesn’t make much difference for distances of under a billion miles, but probably does for distances far greater than that. answered Jun 28, 2019 at 15:41 $\endgroup$ 8

  • $\begingroup$ PS The classic example of waves behaving like particles is the photo electric effect, where high energy photons knock electrons out of a metal plate, but radio waves are far too weak to do anything like that. Einstein’s Nobel Prize was for his 1905 paper on the photoelectric effect. $\endgroup$ Jun 28, 2019 at 15:52
  • $\begingroup$ OTOH, radio waves can make the electrons in a piece of metal wiggle around. If they couldn’t do that, radios wouldn’t work. $\endgroup$ Jun 28, 2019 at 22:35
  • $\begingroup$ Where does that figure of 14 billion miles come from? That’s not very far, around 150 AU. $\endgroup$ Jun 28, 2019 at 22:38
  • $\begingroup$ To the best of my knowledge, no telescope or radio telescope has detected electromagnetic waves from more than 13. 8 billion miles away; if they have, they certainly haven’t trumpeted the fact. $\endgroup$ Jun 29, 2019 at 8:41
  • $\begingroup$ Space is not an absolute vacuum. When photon travels, it must hit some particals and becomes less energetic. This leads to red-shift. If phonon travels too far, the red-shift must be enormous. And the phonon will disappear finally. $\endgroup$ Jun 29, 2019 at 13:39
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Where do electromagnetic waves come from?

Definition: Electromagnetic waves or EM waves are waves that are created as a result of vibrations between an electric field and a magnetic field. In other words, EM waves are composed of oscillating magnetic and electric fields. Description: Electromagnetic waves are formed when an electric field comes in contact with a magnetic field.

They are hence known as ‘electromagnetic’ waves. The electric field and magnetic field of an electromagnetic wave are perpendicular (at right angles) to each other. They are also perpendicular to the direction of the EM wave.

EM waves travel with a constant velocity of 3. 00 x 108 ms-1 in vacuum. They are deflected neither by the electric field, nor by the magnetic field. However, they are capable of showing interference or diffraction. An electromagnetic wave can travel through anything — be it air, a solid material or vacuum.

It does not need a medium to propagate or travel from one place to another. Mechanical waves (like sound waves or water waves), on the other hand, need a medium to travel. EM waves are ‘transverse’ waves. This means that they are measured by their amplitude (height) and wavelength (distance between the highest/lowest points of two consecutive waves).

The highest point of a wave is known as ‘crest’, whereas the lowest point is known as ‘trough’. Electromagnetic waves can be split into a range of frequencies. This is known as the electromagnetic spectrum. Examples of EM waves are radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves, X-rays, gamma rays, etc..

How are electromagnetic waves produced?

Definition: Electromagnetic waves or EM waves are waves that are created as a result of vibrations between an electric field and a magnetic field. In other words, EM waves are composed of oscillating magnetic and electric fields. Description: Electromagnetic waves are formed when an electric field comes in contact with a magnetic field.

  • They are hence known as ‘electromagnetic’ waves;
  • The electric field and magnetic field of an electromagnetic wave are perpendicular (at right angles) to each other;
  • They are also perpendicular to the direction of the EM wave;

EM waves travel with a constant velocity of 3. 00 x 108 ms-1 in vacuum. They are deflected neither by the electric field, nor by the magnetic field. However, they are capable of showing interference or diffraction. An electromagnetic wave can travel through anything — be it air, a solid material or vacuum.

  1. It does not need a medium to propagate or travel from one place to another;
  2. Mechanical waves (like sound waves or water waves), on the other hand, need a medium to travel;
  3. EM waves are ‘transverse’ waves;
  4. This means that they are measured by their amplitude (height) and wavelength (distance between the highest/lowest points of two consecutive waves);

The highest point of a wave is known as ‘crest’, whereas the lowest point is known as ‘trough’. Electromagnetic waves can be split into a range of frequencies. This is known as the electromagnetic spectrum. Examples of EM waves are radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves, X-rays, gamma rays, etc..

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