Electromagnetic Wave
Light Sound and Waves | Electricity and Magnetism

Episode 312: Preparation for electromagnetic waves topic

Teaching Guidance for 16-19 IOP TAP

Students will have a simple idea of electromagnetic radiation.

Main aims of this topic

Electromagnetic waves


Students will:

  • know some of the methods by which light can be polarised
  • be able to predict what will be seen or detected with a combination of filters and different orientations of detectors and transmitters
  • understand why only transverse waves can be polarised
  • appreciate that polarisation of light and microwaves tell us that electromagnetic waves are transverse
  • know the general properties of electromagnetic waves including the order of magnitude of the wavelength of each region and how each is detected
  • show the inverse square law experimentally and to be able to use it in calculations

Prior knowledge

Students should know the main sub-divisions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

They should also have studied some basic ideas about waves (how they are produced; reflection and refraction).

They should know the difference between transverse and longitudinal waves.

Where this leads

If students study these episodes before they have dealt with radioactivity, it will help them to understand the nature of gamma radiation, as well as the idea that the intensity of radiation diminishes as it spreads out.

Students will learn much more about light when they study diffraction and interference.

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