Electromagnetic Spectrum 

Created by:
Jane Zeek
Mission Viejo High School 

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UCI Summer Science Institute WebQuests - 2001

UCI Science WebQuests from all years

To explore the Electromagnetic Spectrum using a variety of interactive Internet resources and hands-on activities.

  • An electromagnetic spectrum is an arrangement of electromagnetic waves according to wavelength and frequency.
  • The electromagnetic spectrum includes radio waves, infrared waves, visible light, ultraviolet light, X-rays, and gamma rays
  • Identify and compare the wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum using fun, interactive web resources.
Resources Needed: 
  • A computer with Internet access
  • Lab notebook
  • Access to a printer



    Your Task: 
    There are 6 interactive activities listed below. Click the links below to explore the Electromagnetic Spectrum.

    Activity 1: Visible Light

    Part A

  • Observe teacher demonstration of white light passing through a prism on overhead projection.
  • Observe light through diffraction grating sunglasses.
  • Then click on link below.



       Go to  Virtual Prism
       Click on hand, move back and forth, hold down button for white light.
       (Note that a prism separates light into various wavelengths)

    Part B
    Go to: BrainPop and click on Electromagnetic Movie

  • Listen to movie, then take quiz.(remember you may be tested on this information at a later date)
  • Click on "Experiment with Bob the E-Labrat" (on the BrainPop site)

  • :
    Materials needed for Experiment

    1. sunny day
    2. sheet of white paper 
    3. a pan of water
    4. a mirror

    Activity 2: What ARE Electromagnetic Waves?

    • For an interactive Demonstration of an X-Ray machin

    • X-Rays

    Activity 3: The Electromagnetic Spectrum

    • List component parts of the electromagnetic spectrum
    • What is the relationship between wavelength and frequency?

    Go to Java Applet
    In this applet, you can click on the wavelength/frequncy scale and change the wavelength and frequency 
    by dragging the mouse around. You can also change the wavelength by using the arrow keys on your 
    keyboard. Holding the shiftkey down while pressing the left or right arrow keys changes the wavelength
    by a factor of 10.

    © W. Bauer, 1999

    • Go to Activity: "Spectrum".  (Click on hyperlink to see the above Java Applet that goes along with activity.)

    • Using the above Java Applet to complete worksheet.

    Activity 4: Tour the EM Spectrum
    • Go to: Take a Tour of the Electromagnetic Spectrum
    • Navigate to bottom of page to take a tour of the EM Spectrum



      Activity: 5
      Students will discover and verify the relationship between Wavelength and Frequency of the Electromagnetic Spectrum.

      Activity 6: Spectroscopy
      How to scientists use spectroscopy to study stars and planets?

      • Part A:

      • To pick an element and see its spectral fingerprint 
        Go to: Spectral Lines
      • Part B:
      • To observe visible spectra of known elements and identify an unknown element or combination of elements by visible spectra.

      • Go to: Supernova Chemistry

    Materials Needed

    10 spectroscopes (Science Kit 45492 or 16525) 
     5 spectrum tubes (Science Kit 62999-01 -62999-55) (one of these should be mercury) 
    1 incandescent light bulb 
    1 "plant grow" light bulb 
    1 Compact Fluorescent light fixture 
    4 Chemical Light Sticks (each lasts four hours) 
    1 Standard Fluorescent light tube 
    5 Spectrum tube power supplies (Science Kit 62999 26) 
    10 Packages of colored pencils 

    Super Nova Chemistry: Student Handout


    Quia Activities: Ordered list - Ordering the Spectrum
    Click here to take Online Quiz at Funbrain
    Click here to create word-search or crisscross puzzle at Puzzlemaker

    To Teacher Page

    Quick Links - Select and click "Go"

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    E-Mail: zeekj@svusd.k12.ca.us
    August 15, 2001

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