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Chapter summary

  • Electromagnetic radiation has both a wave and a particle nature.

  • Electromagnetic waves travel at a speed of approximately 3 × 108 m·s−1 in a vacuum.

  • The Electromagnetic spectrum consists of the following types of radiation: radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, X-rays, gamma-rays.

  • Gamma-rays have the most energy and are the most penetrating, while radio waves have the lowest energy and are the least penetrating.

Table 1: Units used in electromagnetic radiation

Physical Quantities

Quantity

Unit name

Unit symbol

Energy (E)

joule

J

Wavelength (λ)

metre

m

Period (T)

second

s

Frequency (f)

hertz

Hz (s−1)

Speed of light (c)

metre per second

m·s−1