High School Physics

Applications of different electromagnetic waves

Last updated on January 23rd, 2022 at 07:12 pm

In this post, we will list down different important applications of electromagnetic waves (or applications of different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum).

Applications of Gamma rays

  • treatment of cancer
  • radioactive tracers

Applications of X-rays

  • radiographs (internal images of objects/people)
  • radiotherapy

Applications of Ultraviolet

  • fluorescence (for example, security markings)
  • treatment of skin conditions
  • sterilisation of medical instruments
  • excessive exposure causes skin cancer

Applications of Visible light

  • eyesight
  • photography
  • lasers (for example, surgery)

Applications of Infrared

  • night vision
  • thermograms
  • remote controls

Applications of Microwave

  • satellite communication (for example, satellite TV)
  • mobile phone communication
  • WiFi
  • radar
  • GPS

Applications of Radio waves

  • communication (for example, broadcast radio) MRI
  • scanners

Applications of different electromagnetic waves | applications of different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum

The Applications of different electromagnetic waves ( applications of different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum) are shown in the table below.

Applications of different electromagnetic waves
Applications of different electromagnetic waves (tabular representation)

Electromagnetic waves have many practical applications. Some examples are given in the following paragraphs.
● Radio waves are used to send radio and television signals from transmitters to our homes. These are called terrestrial signals as they go across the ground. Radio waves can be transmitted over long distances by reflecting them off the ionosphere (a layer in the
Earth’s upper atmosphere).

● Microwaves are used for satellite communications because they pass easily through the Earth’s atmosphere. Many people now use satellite television. Microwaves are also used in mobile phone networks. These microwaves are transmitted using tall aerial masts.
● Microwaves are used in the home to cook food in microwave ovens.
Some wavelengths of microwaves are absorbed by water molecules, and therefore cause heating.
● Infrared waves are used to provide heating from electrical heaters. We cook using infrared radiation in our ovens.
● We can also use infrared cameras to take photographs at night. Infrared has another popular use in remote controls.

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● We use light waves all the time to see. Light (and infrared) is also used in fibre optic communication systems. Information is coded into signals consisting of light (or infrared) pulses which are then transmitted along with fibre optics. Many telephone links now use fibre optics rather than copper cables.
● Lasers that emit high-energy visible light are used for surgery.
● Ultraviolet waves are emitted by hot objects. Some substances can absorb the energy from ultraviolet radiation and then emit the energy as visible light. This is called fluorescence. Some types of energy-efficient lamps work by producing ultraviolet radiation. When electricity passes through a gas in the lamp, reactions occur and ultraviolet radiation is emitted. The ultraviolet radiation is absorbed by a chemical that covers the inside of the glass. The chemical fluoresces and visible light is emitted. Materials that fluoresce can also have applications in solving crimes.

X-rays can penetrate our bodies and therefore provide a valuable way to help doctors diagnose illness or damage to our bodies. In an X-ray photograph, bones, teeth and diseased tissues stand out because they absorb the X-rays. Many modern radiotherapy machines use high energy X-rays to kill cancer cells.
● Gamma rays are penetrating radiation that can cause damage to body tissue. Sometimes this is useful. For example, gamma rays are used in radiotherapy to kill cancer cells.

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