AP Physics B : Understanding Wavelength, Frequency, and Velocity

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Physics B

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Waves And Optics

In the electromagnetic spectrum, __________ have the highest frequency and __________ have the greatest energy per photon.

Possible Answers:

X-rays . . . radio waves

infrared light . . . ultraviolet light

ultraviolet light . . . X-rays

gamma rays . . . gamma rays

microwaves . . . microwaves

Correct answer:

gamma rays . . . gamma rays


The relationship between frequency and energy is determined by Planck's constant in a direct relationship. This means that as frequency increases, energy increases as well.

The electromagnetic waves with the highest frequency will have the greatest energy per photon, and vice versa.

In the electromagnetic spectrum, radio waves have the lowest frequency (largest wavelength) and gamma rays have the highest frequency (shortest wavelength). Gamma rays will thus have the highest frequency and greatest energy.

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