The Electromagnetic Spectrum is the range of all types of Electromagnetic Radiation. This radiation is defined by photons traveling at the speed of light. The EM spectrum is commonly defined by seven types of radiation – most of which you experience every day, whether you realize it or not!

seven types of radiation

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The Visible Light Spectrum is a subset of the Electromagnetic Spectrum. This is the only part of the EM Spectrum that humans can actually see with the naked eye. This includes the light from your desk lamp, your phone screen, rainbows, and even this graphic!

light spectrum

Rainbows are part of the visible light spectrum. They form when the light wave passes through a prism, like a water droplet, and is refracted – or bent – by the prism. That bent light is then reflected – or bounced off of – the surface of that prism again. This splits the spectrum into its various colors [see figure above] and, viola, produces a band of distinct colors!

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For more information about rainbows, or to find fun and educational tools to discover the wonders of the visible light spectrum for yourself, visit today!