Video: Comparing Wavelengths of Types of Electromagnetic Waves

What is the name of the type of electromagnetic radiation that has the longest wavelengths?

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Video Transcript

What is the name of the type of electromagnetic radiation that has the longest wavelengths?

This question is asking us about the electromagnetic spectrum. So let’s write it out. We start with radio waves, then come microwaves, next is infrared, then visible light followed by ultraviolet, X-rays come next, and finally 𝛾 rays.

Now, this is the full extent of the electromagnetic spectrum. As we go from left to right, we’re increasing in energy. However, we have to go the other way if we want to increase in wavelength. That is to say radio waves have the longest wavelength, but the lowest energies, whereas 𝛾 rays have the shortest wavelength, but the highest energies.

So to answer our question, the type of electromagnetic radiation that has the longest wavelength is radio waves.

Before we go, let’s quickly discuss the electromagnetic spectrum. There are seven different kinds of waves on the EM spectrum: radio waves, microwaves, infrared rays, visible light, ultraviolet rays, X-rays, and 𝛾 rays. They need to be remembered in order of increasing energy or wavelength, depending on which way you want to go. But it’s important not to mix them up and to keep them in the correct order.

To do this — the best way to do it — is to come up with a really silly, really memorable mnemonic. Why don’t you have a go? Create something using the letters R, M, I, V, U, X, and G so that you can use it to remember the electromagnetic spectrum. Here’s our example. Use it if it helps you remember the electromagnetic spectrum.

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