# The electromagnetic spectrum.

Discussion in 'Physics' started by jonkopp, Jan 23, 2008.

1. ### jonkopp Thread Starter Member

Jan 17, 2008
15
0
Black holes aside, the part of popular physics that always baffled me was the electromagnetic spectrum.

I understand that the spectrum represents a sliding value of frequency. I understand it progresses through the RF range and then into the light range, and then finally(as far as we can measure) into the cosmic ray section of the range. All these 'areas' represent these particles at different excitation levels. OK, gotcha so far.

But when I talk to all my comms buddies, they always refer to the RF region of the spectrum as radiated electrons. As if the transmitting body is super-charging the antenna until electrons fire off. And that it is an electron flying through space until it collides with the receiving antenna.

Is this just poor teaching, or is that the truth? At the lower end of the spectrum, are the electromagnetic particles being radiated as electrons, and at the light range they are being radiated as photons? Because if this is true, then there is a huge gap in the whole teaching process about the magical range where it crosses over from being only a particle(as electrons are), and then into the double state of being both a wave and a particle(as photons are). You'd think such a stupefying anomaly as this would require a little more focus. At what exact point does the transition occur? Why?

In my mind all the states of the electromagnetic spectrum are a single type of particle at different excitation levels. This jives with some of the areas I've read the breakdown. Some places say that the whole spectrum is photons. That once the energy is radiated it carrys this double state. But then in teaching, they only talk about the light region as being photons and therefore being in the double state.

Maybe we need a different name for the overall electromagnetic spectrum particle that is then broke down into its frequency range name(ELF, HF, EHF. UV, Visible light, IR, etc..). Or is this already done, the photon, and the different story being told in school is wrong?

This double standard is very confusing. And honestly, I don't even know how many teachers know the difference(let alone the truth). Any inputs to clarify this?

Jan 17, 2008
15
0