Electromagnetic Energy : Definition, Examples and Formula

Published on 28-Sep-2022

Electromagnetic energy

Another name for electromagnetic energy is electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic energy is the energy that is associated with electromagnetic waves. This energy drives the electromagnetic waves to move them through a medium. It has no charge or mass. Electromagnetic radiation moves in the form of light energy called photons. Electromagnetic energy is one of the most important energies present in our universe. This is the energy that drives the EM waves.

When an electrical charge gets accelerated by an external force, electromagnetic energy gets released. A wave of alternating magnetic and electric fields is caused by acceleration, which gets detached and can move through a medium.

Photons are discrete packets of energy. Electromagnetic waves are made up of photons. These carry the energy of a significant amount through a medium from one particular place to another. There are different properties and characteristics of EM waves.

Electromagnetic spectrum

The electromagnetic spectrum is a family of different types of electromagnetic radiation. These have different characteristics due to their frequency and wavelength. The EM waves have similar properties. They transfer energy from one place to another. All the EM waves are transverse. All the EM waves have a speed similar to the speed of light, which is 300000000 m/s. All the EM waves can be reflected and refracted. There are seven EM waves.

Radio waves

It has a frequency of 105- 1010 and a wavelength of 103-10-2. The sources of radio waves are radio and TV transmitters. Detectors of radio waves are TV and radio aerials.


It has a frequency of 1010- 1011 and a wavelength of 10-2-10-3. The sources of microwaves are ovens and microwave transmitters. Detectors of microwaves are microwave receivers.

Infrared rays

It has a frequency of 1011- 1014 and a wavelength of 10-3-10-6. The sources of infrared are hot objects. Detectors of infrared are blackened thermometers.

Visible light

It has a frequency of 1014- 1015 and a wavelength of 10-6-10-7. The sources of visible light are luminous objects. Detectors of visible light are photographic film.

Ultraviolet ray

It has a frequency of 1015- 1016 and a wavelength of 10-7-10-8. The sources of ultraviolet are UV lamps and the sun. Detectors of UV are photographic film.


It has a frequency of 10^16- 10^18 and a wavelength of 10^-8-10^-10. The sources of x-rays are x-raying tubes. Detectors of x-rays are photographic films.

Gamma rays

It has a frequency of 10^18- 10^21 and a wavelength of 10^-10-10^-14. The sources of gamma rays are radioactive materials. Detectors of gamma rays are Geiger-Miller tubes

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