The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation.

The graphic below shows you several things about the electromagnetic spectrum—wavelength, energies, and the names of the different types of waves. (Wavelengths are measured in nanometers—which are 1/1,000,000,000 of a meter.) Radio waves are shown on the left as having the longest wavelengths and lowest energy and frequency. Moving left to right increasing in energy and frequency, and decreasing in wavelength are, microwaves, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, x-rays, gamma rays, and cosmic rays.

Radio waves can be as long as skyscrapers are tall. The shortest gamma ray is less than the size of an atomic nucleus.

Source of image: Wikimedia Commons, NASA

Interactive exercise. Assistance may be required. Answer the following questions about what you can learn from the graphic. Hover over each answer to see if it is correct.