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Question

Is there a definite end to the electromagnetic spectrum?
Asked by: Teresa Beacon

Answer

The electromagnetic spectrum has no theoretical limit at either end. You can create as long a wavelength (ie. as low a frequency) as you want simply be moving an electric charge back and forth in as long a period of time as you choose. Given the proportionality of energy and frequency, long wavelengths such as this represent very low energies.

At the other end of the spectrum, it takes higher energies to create higher frequencies (shorter wavelengths). That means you are limited only by the energy available. If all the mass/energy in the Universe is considered a 'limit', then that would be the only real theoretical limit to the maximum frequency attainable.

The highest frequency EM waves are labelled 'Gamma' rays.
Answered by: Paul Walorski, B.A., Part Time Physics Instructor
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'Our job in physics is to see things simply, to understand a great many complicated phenomena, in terms of a few simple principles.'

Steven Weinberg
(1933-)


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