electromagnetic radiation


Definition of electromagnetic radiation

: energy in the form of electromagnetic waves also : a series of electromagnetic waves

Examples of electromagnetic radiation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The idea that telescopes could even detect neutral hydrogen goes back to the 1940s, when Dutch astronomer Hendrik Christoffel van de Hulst predicted that hydrogen atoms can spontaneously emit pulses of electromagnetic radiation. Anil Ananthaswamy, Scientific American, "Telescopes on Far Side of the Moon Could Illuminate the Cosmic Dark Ages," 15 Jan. 2021 Some led to the discovery of natural phenomena like pulsars—quickly rotating neutron stars or white dwarfs that emit electromagnetic radiation beams. Claire Bugos, Smithsonian Magazine, "Astronomers Discover Mysterious Radio Signal From Proxima Centauri," 22 Dec. 2020 Military aircraft also have radios, control systems, and other forms of data competing for pilots' attention, all emitting some kind of radio or electromagnetic radiation. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Are Cockpit Electromagnetic Fields Killing Pilots?," 15 Sep. 2020 One of them was completely enclosed within a hefty capsule of cork, coiled wire, glass wool, and steel, through which no electromagnetic radiation could pass; anyone living inside was completely cut off from the Earth’s magnetic field. Jo Marchant, Wired, "The Oysters That Knew What Time It Was," 1 Sep. 2020 Just like an ordinary atom, a positronium atom can absorb and emit light and other electromagnetic radiation only at specific frequencies as the electron and positron within it jump from one distinct quantum state to another. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Tantalizing oddity found in exotic atom—but physicists aren’t hyping it," 25 Aug. 2020 Radar works by beaming a pulse of electromagnetic radiation into the sky. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Trump Keeps Saying the F-35 Is Invisible," 21 Aug. 2020 Electric and magnetic fields — EMFs — are on the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation extending from static to X-rays, according to the World Health Organization. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, "Fact check: A magnetic shield will not protect cellphone users from EMF radiation," 13 July 2020 Now such a puzzle has come in the form of filaments of electromagnetic radiation hundreds of thousands of light-years long—the likes of which have never before been seen. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, "Strange Extragalactic Strands Mystify Astronomers," 16 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'electromagnetic radiation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of electromagnetic radiation

1891, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for electromagnetic radiation Time Traveler

The first known use of electromagnetic radiation was in 1891

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Statistics for electromagnetic radiation

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Electromagnetic radiation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/electromagnetic%20radiation. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for electromagnetic radiation

electromagnetic radiation


Medical Definition of electromagnetic radiation

: a series of electromagnetic waves

More from Merriam-Webster on electromagnetic radiation

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about electromagnetic radiation

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