Exploring The Electromagnetic Spectrum

  • William W. Hay


Upon detailed examination, the spectra of sunlight were found not to be continuous but rather to be interrupted by dark lines. It was discovered that when burned, chemicals often gave off light at very specific wavelengths. It became possible to determine the elements present in a compound by examination of the spectrum. The element helium was discovered in the spectrum of the Sun’s corona during an eclipse 30 years before it was discovered trapped in minerals on Earth. It was found that spectral lines are mathematically related. Heinrich Hertz confirmed Maxwell’s ideas about electromagnetic radiation by generating it in his laboratory. He did not realize the implications of his discovery. Giuseppe Marconi made the electromagnetic spectrum a tool for civilization, developing radio transmission. Human use of the electromagnetic spectrum has expanded to include FM radio, television, radar, and even microwave cooking.


Electromagnetic Wave Spectral Line Electromagnetic Spectrum Balmer Series Morse Code 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Colorado at BoulderEstes ParkUSA

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