Gamma-rays can be used to treat cancer, and gamma-ray bursts are studied by astronomers. Electromagnetic (EM) radiation is transmitted in waves or particles at different wavelengths and frequencies. This broad range of wavelengths is known as the electromagnetic spectrum.
Infrared radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation, as are radio waves, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and microwaves. Infrared (IR) light is the part of the EM spectrum that people encounter most in everyday life, although much of it goes unnoticed. It is invisible to human eyes, but people can feel it as heat.
Microwaves fall in the range of the EM spectrum between radio and infrared light. Microwaves have frequencies ranging from about 1 billion cycles per second, or 1 gigahertz (GHz), up to about 300 gigahertz and wavelengths of about 30 centimeters (12 inches) to 1 millimeter (0.04 inches), according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation, as are microwaves, infrared radiation, X-rays and gamma-rays. The best-known use of radio waves is for communication; television, cellphones and radios all receive radio waves and convert them to mechanical vibrations in the speaker to create sound waves that can be heard.
Ultraviolet (UV) light falls in the range of the EM spectrum between visible light and X-rays. It has frequencies of about 8 × 10 14 to 3 × 10 16 cycles per second, or hertz (Hz), and wavelengths of about 380 nanometers (1.5 × 10 −5 inches) to about 10 nm (4 × 10 −7 inches).
X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation, as are radio waves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation and microwaves. One of the most common and beneficial uses of X-rays is for medical imaging. X-rays are also used in treating cancer and in exploring the cosmos.