Mostly, Electromagnetic Radiation is in the forms of waves. These waves include: Radio Waves, Microwaves, Infrared, X- rays and Gamma-rays (Mattson). The magnetic and electric fields resulting in the electromagnetic waves interact by coming together at right angles to each other and these combined waves move perpendicular to both electric and magnetic oscillating fields and as a result, the disturbance is caused (Nikita , Kevin and Mateo). The resulting electron radiation is released in bundles of light energy which travel at a speed of 299 792 458 m / s, equivalent to the speed of light, as quantized harmonic waves. This electromagnetic waves are grouped according to their wavelength and the this results in the electromagnetic spectrum. The resultant magnetic and electric waves move perpendicularly to each other having certain characteristics which are Amplitude, frequency and wavelength.
Features of Electromagnetic Radiation
The movement of the electromagnetic waves is in form of patterns. The distance that exists between two peaks is the wavelength of the wave. The wavelength of a waveform is measured in meters.
This is illustrated in the figure below. Frequency Frequency can be defined as the number of oscillations of the wave per unit time. The frequency of waves is not constant, it varies and the variation greatly depends on the type and nature of the electromagnetic radiation. The frequency of a wave is measured in Hertz. The wave can have high frequency or low frequency as indicated in the diagram below. The frequency is related to the wavelength by the dispersion relation is given by: Where the wavelength and c is the propagation speed Amplitude Amplitude refers to the characteristic height of the wave. Amplitude is a measure of the intensity of the wave and is measured in meters. The amplitude of an electromagnetic radiation is given by Where Refers to the electrical amplitude, is the wavelength and c is the propagation speed. Characteristics of electromagnetic Radiation Interference This is the process in which two waves superposes to form one resultant wave. For interference to occur, the source of the waves must be coherent. If two electromagnetic waves having the same frequency get together i.e. they superpose, it results into a wave which has the resultant magnetic and electric field strength equal to the sum of fields of the two waves. When two strong waves moving that have their fields moving in one direction, i.e. same direction in time and space, the resulting waveform is twice that of each individual waveform (Encyclop?dia Britannica Online). This results in constructive interference. However, the superposition of a wave having an electric field in one direction in space and with another electromagnetic radiation wave which has the same frequency but with an electric field in the opposite direction in space and time results in cancellation and a result, there is no formation of a waveform (Encyclop?dia Britannica Online). This implies that the two waves are not in phase. The resultant effect is termed as destructive interference. In summary, superposition of waves results in destructive, constructive or partial interference considering the magnitude of the waves being superposed. If two monochromatic waves described by And Then The value is responsible for the interference process. If then the resultant interference is constructive If Then If Then the interference is a destructive interference. Diffraction When electromagnetic waves come onto obstacles, they are diffracted. Diffraction is the process by which the waves bend around obstacles. This can be illustrated as in the diagram be