Q:

Can electromagnetic waves travel through a vacuum?

A:

According to the BBC, electromagnetic waves can move freely through a vacuum, as they do not need to travel through matter. In fact, although a slight difference between speeds exists, electromagnetic waves travel faster in a vacuum than through matter.

The electromagnetic spectrum is composed of waves with varying lengths that all travel at the speed of light (approximately 186,000 miles per hour in a vacuum). Wave length is determined by frequency, with the higher frequencies having smaller wave lengths and vice versa. Higher frequency electromagnetic waves include gamma rays, X-rays and ultraviolet rays. Lower frequency electromagnetic waves include infrared radiation, radio waves and microwaves.

Sources:

  1. bbc.co.uk

Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    How are electromagnetic waves formed?

    A:

    Electromagnetic waves form from the vibrations of electric and magnetic fields. Unlike mechanical waves, electromagnetic waves do not need a medium to propagate, allowing them to travel through air, solids and even outer space.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What can electromagnetic waves transfer energy without?

    A:

    Electromagnetic waves can travel and transport energy without a medium through which it may travel. This contrasts with mechanical waves, such as sound waves, which cannot travel through a vacuum. If electromagnetic radiation could not travel through a vacuum, the sun’s rays would not light the Earth.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How are electromagnetic waves different from mechanical waves?

    A:

    Electromagnetic and mechanical waves differ in that electromagnetic waves are always longitudinal and do not require a known medium, while mechanical waves are either longitudinal or compression waves and require a medium. All known electromagnetic waves are also known as forms of light. An example of a longitudinal mechanical wave is a wave in water, while sound is an example of a compression wave.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What can sound not travel through?

    A:

    Sound cannot travel through a vacuum or in outer space because time is a vibration of matter. Sound can generally travel through any material, including water and steel.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore