What are the 7 types of electromagnetic waves from lowest to highest frequency? See answers here!

7 TYPES OF ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES – These are the types of electromagnetic waves from lowest to highest frequency.

Electromagnetic waves are defined as ” a propagating couple of an electric and magnetic field components whereby the electric and magnetic field vectors include an angle of 90 degrees in the media we commonly find in POFs” according to Polymer Optical Fibres (2017).

7 Types Of Electromagnetic Waves

A wave is formed when contact has happened between the two, hence, the name. “Crest” is the highest point of a wave while the lowest point is called “trough”.

Here are the types of EM waves from the lowest to highest frequency:

  • Radio Waves: Instant Communication (the lowest-frequency waves in the spectrum)
    This type of wave carries signals which are received by the antennae of television, radio, and cellphone. It has a frequency of 30 billion hertz or 30 gigahertz (GHz) and the wavelength is about over 0.4 inches (10 millimeters). 
  • Microwaves: Data and Heat (the second-lowest frequency waves in the spectrum)
    The waves have a frequency of 3 GHz to 30 trillion hertz or 30 terahertz (THz) while the wavelength is 0.004 to 0.4 inches (0.1 to 10 mm). This is the wave of radar, landline phone calls, and computer data transmissions.
  • Infrared Waves: Invisible Heat (the lower-middle range of frequencies in the spectrum)
    The wavelength is about from a few millimeters to microscopic lengths or 0.00003 to 0.004 inches (740 nanometers to 100 micrometers). It has a frequency of 30 to 400 THz.
  • Visible Light Rays (this is visible in a human’s eyes)
    The frequencies can be distinguished through the colors of the rainbow. The lower wavelengths are in red while the higher ones are in the hues of violet. The frequencies have about 400 to 800 THz and wavelengths of 0.000015 to 0.00003 inches (380 to 740 nanometers).
  • Ultraviolet Waves: Energetic Light (the waves that can cause sunburn and cancer to living organisms)
    It has frequencies of 8 × 1014 to 3 x 1016 Hz and wavelengths of 0.0000004 to 0.000015 inches (10 to 380 nanometers). This comes from the sunlight and is invisible to the human eyes.
  • X-rays: Penetrating Radiation (extremely high-energy waves)
    It has two types: soft X-rays which have a frequency of 3 × 1016 to 1018 Hz and wavelengths of  4 × 10−7 to 4 × 10−8 inches and hard X-rays which are pretty similar to gamma-rays. Their only difference is the accelerating electrons producing the x-rays and atomic nuclei producing gamma-rays.
  • Gamma Rays: Nuclear Energy (the highest-frequency EM waves)
    This is emitted by pulsars, neutron stars, supernovas, and black holes – among the most energetic cosmic objects in the universe. It has a frequency of more than 1018 Hz and wavelengths of less than 4 × 10−9 inches or 100 picometers.


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