# Electromagnetic Waves Frequency

#### sarvesh0303

I was watching the lectures on the MIT OCW course 5.111 where it was said that electromagnetic radiations are periodic variations of the electric field. Does it mean that when we are talking about electromagnetic radiation, frequency indicates how quickly do the electric fields change(their direction and magnitude).

Related Other Physics Topics News on Phys.org

#### sophiecentaur

Gold Member
Yes - a frequency of 1Hz means that there is one cycle of oscillation of the fields per second. A cycle is the period during which an oscillation goes through a complete range of values - up, down and back to the beginning. Frequency is 1/(time taken for one complete cycle). That goes for all forms of oscillation btw.

#### sarvesh0303

Thanks . And does amplitude represent the maximum magnitude the electric field can reach??? What really puzzles me is what the wavelength represents in this case.

#### jtbell

Mentor
And does amplitude represent the maximum magnitude the electric field can reach???
Yes.

What really puzzles me is what the wavelength represents in this case.
It's the distance along the direction that the wave is traveling, between two points of maximum magnitude, or between two points of minimum magnitude.

#### sarvesh0303

Thanks a lot guys!!!

### Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving