How Much Do You Know About Electromagnetic Radiation?


By: Olivia Cantor

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Science has provided us with so many advancements that we now tend to use those advancements in other areas of life. Of course, that's how inventions work, and that is how special discoveries work as well. And that is how it worked with the discovery and formulation of the principles, theories and facts surrounding the concept of electromagnetic radiation or EMR. 

These days, human beings are so spoiled with using gadgets, appliances and many other things that have direct or indirect applications of EMR. If we really take a look at the nitty-gritty of how things work and how processes happen on a daily basis in our lives, we will discover that electromagnetic radiation is going to be ever-present, day in and day out, in almost all of the things we do.

But since the term uses the word "radiation," we tend to get scared easily because of some negative connotation about that word. No, it's not all that dangerous, and it's not harmful if we're careful. So we should just chill, let science be science, enjoy the technology, and see if your knowledge of EMR is enough to ace this quiz. 

Good luck, sci-peeps!

First things first, what general category of knowledge deals with the study of EMR?

Look up EMR under science. It's studied in physics.


By its very name, there are two factors being discussed in conjunction with another in EMR. What is the first one?

EMR deals primarily with electricity. The electric field is the first field studied here, in conjunction with another.


And the second factor being discussed in EMR is what?

Electricity and magnetism come into play when discussing EMR. That's the main reason why it's called EMR.


During what century did the initial discussions of electricity came into play, which later led to EMR discoveries?

Curiosity about magnetism has existed since the ancient times, and curiosity about electricity has been appearing since the 17th century. But it was during the 18th century when intelligent minds started to look into electromagnetic factors more closely.


In which century was EMR theorized and studied in full?

It was sometime in the 1870s when a unified theory regarding electromagnetism took place. A lot of other related breakthroughs happened after that.


Which scientist proposed to combine the concept of electromagnetism as a unified theory?

It was James Clerk Maxwell who first proposed and developed electromagnetism as a unified theory. He was a physicist from Scotland.


Simply speaking, EMR is a form of this, which exists in our daily lives and routines.

EMR is an ever-present kind of energy. Yes, it's all around us!


In EMR, the electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular to each other. What does that mean?

When the electric field and the magnetic field meet up, the two meet at right angles. That means they are 90 degrees from each other, therefore perpendicular to each other in the EM wave.


What are the three characteristics of EMR wave traveling?

EM waves have three distinct characteristics. They are identified as the amplitude, wavelength and frequency.


Can EMR travel in an empty space?

EMR doesn't need to be bounced off or reflected to be felt or heard. It can travel very well through empty spaces, actually.


In an electromagnetic wave, what do you call the top portion of the wave?

The crest or peak refers to the top portion curve of a wave. It's important to distinguish that from the bottom curve, in relation to other aspects of EMR.


In an electromagnetic wave, what do you call the bottom portion of the wave?

The bottom part of a wave is called the trough. Its measurement in conjunction with the crest will be relevant when looking at certain aspects of EMR.


When discussing EMR, a discussion of the speed of this will come into play. What is this, exactly?

EMR basically travels at the speed of light. That's why light comes into play when discussing EMR.


In discussing EMR, it’s important to describe the electromagnetic spectrum. What is that?

EMR basically has a range, and it is formally known as the electromagnetic spectrum. This spectrum generally has about seven different regions with varying readings of frequencies and wavelengths.


When discussing wavelengths, it consists of measuring the distance between which points of reference?

To completely measure a wavelength, we have to consider the crest to crest distance. That is considered as one full cycle in terms of its regular fluctuation or oscillation.


Which specific particle is discussed when talking about EMR?

A photon is a light particle. It's in the very essence of the electromagnetic field, and of course EMR as well.


What practical application of EMR is always used in the medical profession?

X-rays are considered as one of the regions of the EM spectrum. It's actually X-radiation, considered as a form of EMR.


When discussing frequency, what is being counted here?

Frequency is about counting the number of waves formed in a specific time frame. The changing time variant could result in either high frequency or low frequency.


What is the specific unit of measurement of a frequency?

Frequency is measured via wave cycles produced per second, with the unit of measurement being the hertz. We shorten it as Hz.


What practical application of EMR is always used in daily cooking?

Microwaves for heating up food are located within the seven EMR regions. Its specific range is versatile, though, as it could be applied to cooking needs or communication needs.


In the discussion that things both have a particle and wave nature, what is this notion formally called?

The wave-particle duality simply explains that light's given nature could possibly be both in wave form or particle form. They believed before that it's just one or the other.


What did James Clerk Maxwell write up to understand EMR more?

Maxwell's equations were formulated to help understand EMR better, and classical electromagnetism in general. It's also the basis for electric circuits.


What application of EMR is always used in the broadcast industry?

All kinds of broadcast media use radio waves for our entertainment pleasure. It's also used in telecommunications.


The Compton effect is generally concerned with what kind of movement done by the photon?

Arthur Holly Compton was responsible for identifying what is known now as the Compton effect. It's about how the photons scatter due to a charged particle, which results in decreasing its energy.


In the electromagnetic spectrum, what do you call the shortest region within it, the one which humans could actually see?

Visible light is the shortest range or region in the EM spectrum. But it's the one visible to the human eye, without any equipment to aid us.


What EM spectrum range is unseen to the naked human eye, but we will be able to feel it if it intensifies?

Infrared is invisible to us in general. But if you're exposed to it and it intensifies, you can actually feel it.


In the microwave and radio wave region-range, what are the two most common kinds of EMR that we use in our daily TV viewing experience?

VHF and UHF mean very high frequency and ultra-high frequency. Practically speaking, this applies to the kinds of TV channels a regular TV antenna could capture -- and this is what we usually call "free TV."


What kinds of rays are also included in the EM spectrum, which might endanger humans if not controlled?

Gamma rays are actually useful for humans when used under great control. They have practical applications in the medical field and in photography.


What is the usual manifestation of visible light?

Each color of the rainbow has a wavelength, and they vary from each other. This is the reason why we see different colors.


Which range within the EM spectrum is generally bad for the skin?

Ultraviolet light is the harmful component of the sun's rays, that's why we protect ourselves from it. But it has its good uses, too, if harnessed properly.


In discussing waves, two kinds of interference could happen. What are these?

In wave relationships, either there is constructive interference or destructive interference. The former refers to the waves being in phase with each other, while the latter is about negating each other.


There are two EMR categorizations based on the intensity of radiation. What are these?

EMR's intense or not-too-intense radiation could be classified as ionizing or non-ionizing. X-rays are an example of the former while radio waves are an example of the latter.


What do you call the study of EMR effects on living beings and organisms like us humans?

Bioelectromagnetics experts should tell us how EMR affects us in a good way or a bad way. They study how we could be safe from these kinds of radiation ranges.


Since many kinds of telecommunications technologies use radio waves, what separates their usage in the EM spectrum?

Radio bands are officially assigned by a governing body to avoid criss-crossing signals and frequencies with each other. Imagine the broadcast chaos if it weren't the case!


Essentially, each EMR range-region within the EM spectrum is differentiated by which factor?

EMR ranges vary in effect due to how each interacts with matter. Radio waves and gamma rays, for instance, affect matter differently, much like how visible light does.


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