SAT II Physics : Electromagnetic Spectrum

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II Physics

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Example Questions

Example Question #7 : Optics, Waves, And Quantum

Of the following, which type of waves has the longest wavelength?

Possible Answers:

Microwaves

Orange light

X-rays

Green light

Gamma rays

Correct answer:

Microwaves

Explanation:

Wavelength and frequency have an inverse relationship; as one value increases, the other value decreases. In contrast, frequency and wave energy have a direct relationship; as one term increases, the other increases as well.

In the electromagnetic spectrum all wave types have the same velocity, but some have greater energy (and frequency) than others. Gamma rays have the highest energy, while radio waves have the lowest. In order from lowest energy to highest, the types of electromagnetic waves are radio waves, microwaves, infrared light, visible light, ultraviolet light, X-rays, and gamma rays.

Of the given answer options, microwaves have the lowest energy. This means they will also have the lowest frequency, and largest wavelength.

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