Bordo, Vladimir G. Mads Clausen Institute, Syddansk Universitet, Odense, Denmark.
Last reviewed:June 2019
Show previous versions
- Properties of light
- Speed of light
- Diffraction, reflection, and refraction
- Interference and polarization
- Chemical effects
- Light pressure
- Descriptions of light
- Wave phenomena
- Quantum phenomena
- Quantum theories
- Relativistic effects
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
In common usage, a kind of radiant energy associated with vision, but in the broader sense, the entire range of radiation known as the electromagnetic spectrum. The electromagnetic spectrum is a broad band of energy conveyed by elementary particles, known as photons, which are the force carriers of the electromagnetic force, one of the four fundamental interactions in nature. The spectrum extends over a range of wavelengths running from trillionths of a millimeter to hundreds of kilometers. Arranged in order of increasing wavelength, which equates to lower frequency and decreasing energy, the radiation making up the electromagnetic spectrum is categorized as gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet rays, visible light, infrared waves, microwaves, and radio waves (Fig. 1). The wavelengths in the visible light spectrum, which range from about 700 nanometers (nm, billionths of a meter) down to 390 nm, are perceived by the human eye and brain as distinct colors, often roughly categorized—from shorter to longer wavelength—as violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. See also: Color vision; Electromagnetic radiation; Electromagnetism; Elementary particle; Eye (vertebrate); Fundamental interactions; Photon; Standard model
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information