What is the name of the type of electromagnetic radiation that has the highest frequencies?
Let’s begin by recalling that using the electromagnetic spectrum, which is a continuous range of radiation, we can categorize types of radiation based on their properties such as frequency, energy, and wavelength. Also, recall that an electromagnetic wave’s energy is directly proportional to its frequency. So toward the right-hand side of this diagram, we see waves with lower frequencies and lower energies. Over here, we have the lowest frequency type of electromagnetic radiation known as radio waves, which have frequencies of about 10 to the six hertz and lower.
Over here on this side of the spectrum, we have waves with higher frequencies and energies such as gamma rays. Gamma rays are so high frequency that they can pass through and break apart the living cells in our body. In fact, some surgical procedures use gamma rays to target tumors inside the body without even needing to make an incision. This is all possible because gamma rays have frequencies of about 10 to the 20 hertz and higher, making them the type of electromagnetic radiation with the highest frequencies.