Traveling Electromagnetic Waves

Infertility message board st

Energy, a measure of the ability to do work, comes in many forms and can transform from one type to another. Examples of stored or potential energy include batteries and water behind a dam. Objects in motion are examples of kinetic energy. Charged particles—such as electrons and protons—create electromagnetic fields when they move, and these fields transport the type of energy we call electromagnetic radiation, or light.


Mechanical waves and electromagnetic waves are two important ways that energy is transported in the world around us. Waves in water and sound waves in air are two examples of mechanical waves. Mechanical waves are caused by a disturbance or vibration in matter, whether solid, gas, liquid, or plasma. Matter that waves are traveling through is called a medium. Water waves are formed by vibrations in a liquid and sound waves are formed by vibrations in a gas (air). These mechanical waves travel through a medium by causing the molecules to bump into each other, like falling dominoes transferring energy from one to the next. Sound waves cannot travel in the vacuum of space because there is no medium to transmit these mechanical waves.

Classical waves transfer energy without transporting matter through the medium. Waves in a pond do not carry the water molecules from place to place; rather the wave's energy travels through the water, leaving the water molecules in place, much like a bug bobbing on top of ripples in water.


Credit: Ginger Butcher

Electricity can be static, like the energy that can make your hair stand on end. Magnetism can also be static, as it is in a refrigerator magnet. A changing magnetic field will induce a changing electric field and vice-versa—the two are linked. These changing fields form electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves differ from mechanical waves in that they do not require a medium to propagate. This means that electromagnetic waves can travel not only through air and solid materials, but also through the vacuum of space.

In the 1860's and 1870's, a Scottish scientist named James Clerk Maxwell developed a scientific theory to explain electromagnetic waves. He noticed that electrical fields and magnetic fields can couple together to form electromagnetic waves. He summarized this relationship between electricity and magnetism into what are now referred to as "Maxwell's Equations."

Heinrich Hertz, a German physicist, applied Maxwell's theories to the production and reception of radio waves. The unit of frequency of a radio wave - one cycle per second - is named the hertz, in honor of Heinrich Hertz.

You might also like

Bundle Monster BMC Fashionable 3pc Galactic Space Traveler Themed Nail Polish Wrap Sticker Appliques Strips
Beauty (Bundle Monster)
  • No time do to your nails? No worries with these cute quick nail appliques!
  • Set Includes: (3) Different styles of galaxy themed nail strips.
  • Sets range from Girly to Galactic, Edgy to Abstract.
  • Each set comes with (14) different nail sizes per design, so you can find your perfect fit!
  • The perfect gift idea for yourself or any DIY nail junkie
Truefabrications True Fabrications Bottle Bubble Wine Traveler
Kitchen (Truefabrications)
  • Easily fits larger sized wine or champagne bottles
  • Adhesive top design prevents spills
  • Makes vine bottles travel ready without using a lot of space
  • Great for cruises, road trips, suitcase travel, picnics
  • Easy to use wine bottle transportation bag
Ace Of Diamonds Ace Of Diamonds Double Wrist Wrap Designer Inspired Charm Bracelet (Tourist Traveler)
Jewelry (Ace Of Diamonds)
  • Adjustable size Pandora style bracelet
  • Quality handmade crafting
  • Smooth durable woven leather cord
  • Swarovski Elements crystals
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed
The Gift Wrap Company The Gift Wrap Company Aquatic Explosion Collection Gift Wrapping Paper, Travelers Stripe
Health and Beauty (The Gift Wrap Company)
  • 30-Inch X 417-feet of premium gift wrapping from The Gift Wrap Company
  • Equal to over 80 regular rolls - enough to wrap over 400 shoe box sized parcels
  • Deep brown borders make the boldly colored stripes really pop
  • The aquatic explosion collection features a dozen bold and colorful complimenting designs
  • Perfect for any occasion; Half ream
eFuture(TM) Red/Beige Women Traveler Chain Print Silky Feel Chiffon Scarf Wrap Long Shawls +eFuture's nice Keyring
Apparel ()
  • Condition:Brand new; Material:Chiffon; Scarf Size:160x70cm/63inchx27.5inch
  • Multiwear scarf/shawl in matching various outfits for all year around
  • Multi chains and wheel print
  • Ultra light ,comfortable and easy to wear for a varied fashion styles

Copyright © . All Rights Reserved