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Science

The electromagnetic spectrum

The main types of electromagnetic radiation

X-rays, visible light and radio waves are all types of electromagnetic radiation.

The main types of electromagnetic radiation

frequencytype of electromagnetic radiationwavelength
highestgamma radiationshortest
X-rays
ultraviolet
visible light
infrared
microwaves
lowestradio waveslongest

All types of electromagnetic radiation:

  • are transverse waves
  • travel at the same speed in a vacuum - empty space.

The speed of electromagnetic radiation in a vacuum is 299,792,458 m/s. This is approximately three hundred million metres per second - nearly nine hundred thousand times faster than sound, which is why you see a flash of lightning before you hear the thunder.

Back to The electromagnetic spectrum index

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