Last modified on 9th August 2000.

Encyclopædia Galactica

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The result of dispersing a beam of electromagnetic radiation so that components with different wavelengths are separated in space, in order of increasing or decreasing wavelength. The most familiar example of spectrum is the natrual rainbow, which occurs when sunlight is dispersed into its component colours by the combined prism-like action of raindrops. The full spectrum of electromagnetic radiation encompasses, in order of decreasing wavelength, radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-radiation, and gamma-radiation. (Mitton, 1993, Dictionary of Astronomy, London: Penguin Books)

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Created by Rami T. F. Rekola