Big Ideas in Science
When scientists talk about waves, they sometimes mean the kind that move across the surface of water, sometimes the kind that move across the surface of land in the form of earthquakes, and sometimes the kind that carry energy through space without the need for a medium like water or the crust of the earth.
Seminar this week focuses on this last kind: electromagnetic waves.
Learn about the basics of the electromagnetic spectrum here:
In Seminar we will focus on a few parts of the spectrum. For some background information on these different parts, read through these web pages and watch the following videos:
Visible Light Waves
If you look at the diagram of the entire electromagnetic spectrum, you will see that radio waves, nuclear radiation, and X-rays are other kinds of electromagnetic waves. The difference among all of them is their energy.
Come to seminar prepared to answer some questions for your cousin Pauline:
1.Your cousin Pauline, once a proud microwave chef, has taken to dining out a lot more often and using her toaster oven for the leftovers. She recently learned of the dangers of radiation, thanks to rising awareness of the dangers of tanning booths and even recent disasters at nuclear power plants, and is concerned that her microwave could pose a threat to her own health. What should Pauline know about these different forms of radiation? Which forms are dangerous and why? Can you convince her to return to her microwaving ways?
2.In an attempt to show Pauline there are even more forms of electromagnetic radiation which are not only harmless but actually helpful, you ask if she has ever experienced infra-red light treatments at the chiropractor or is aware of the medical uses for infra-red imagery. However, for fear of scaring her more with images like this, be sure to explain to her what she is “seeing” in these images, and how infra-red radiation differs from that used for X-ray imaging.
3.Review the section entitled “Thinking More About Electromagnetic Radiation, Is EFL Radiation Dangerous” in section 6.3 of your textbook reading for this unit. You can also explore additional information from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) here:
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA):
What are some of the controversies concerning the dangers of extremely low-frequency (ELF) radiation? Based upon the reading and your own experience, do you think this is a topic you should discuss with your cousin Pauline?
eTitle: The Sciences: An Integrated Approach, 6th ed (custom ebook)
Authors: Trefil, James, and Robert M. Hazen
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,
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