Electromagnetic radiation

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Electromagnetic radiation (often abbreviated E-M radiation or EMR) is a form of energy exhibiting wave like behavior as it travels through space. EMR has both electric and magnetic field components, which oscillate in phase perpendicular to each other and perpendicular to the direction of energy propagation.

Electromagnetic radiation is classified according to the frequency of its wave. In order of increasing frequency and decreasing wavelength, these are radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays. The eyes of various organisms sense a small and somewhat variable window of frequencies called the visible spectrum. The photon is the quantum of the electromagnetic interaction and the basic "unit" of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation and is also the force carrier for the electromagnetic force.

EM radiation carries energy and momentum that may be imparted to matter with which it interacts.

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Physics

Theory

James Clerk Maxwell first formally-postulated Electromagnetic waves. These were subsequently confirmed by Heinrich Hertz. Maxwell derived a wave form of the electric and magnetic equations, thus uncovering the wave-like nature of electric and magnetic fields, and their symmetry. Because the speed of EM waves predicted by the wave equation coincided with the measured speed of light, Maxwell concluded that light itself is an EM wave.

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