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Electromagnetic Question.

  1. Apr 14, 2017 #1
    EM.png EM.png

    I have a question about electromagnetic radiation, I drew this to better explain what I am trying to understand hopefully it makes some sense but what I was wondering is this... if you take two prism and let the light of the sun enter the prisms like in the picture I drew will they both have radio / gamma rays at the ends of there spectrums?

    I think the answer is yes they do? If so could you "Stack" some of the light on top of each other?
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    The Sun emits radiation across a wide range of the spectrum and a small proportion of it includes radio and gamma rays (a very very small proportion of it is gamma rays. Almost zero). However a prism does not separate out anything but the visible and near-infrared range. Beyond that the radiation is either absorbed or passes through with little deviation.
  4. Apr 14, 2017 #3
    Ok thank you.
  5. Apr 14, 2017 #4


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    Science Advisor
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    2017 Award

    We all get told that EM waves of all frequencies are basically the same. This is true but the materials they encounter are not the same. They do not behave the same way for all EM frequencies - which can be confusing. Glass and a few other substances happen to have (were selected for their uses because they have) similar behaviour with a limited range of EM frequencies. They do not absorb them (much) and the speed of light (related to refractive index) is different over the optical range. That allows us to make prisms etc for optical use. At other frequencies, those same substances will absorb the waves. Gamma rays are so high energy that they mostly pass almost straight through a substance, just occasionally making contact with a nucleus. When they do, they can serious damage to the atoms, even causing transmutation of an atom.
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