Related topics: light · laser · galaxies · physical review letters · stars

New strategy uses ionic liquids to change laser colors with ease

Lasers are intense beams of colored light. Depending on their color and other properties, they can scan your groceries, cut through metal, eradicate tumors, and even trigger nuclear fusion. But not every laser color is available ...

A new, better technology for X-ray laser pulses

The X-rays used to examine a broken leg in hospital are easy to produce. In industry, however, X-ray radiation of a completely different kind is needed—namely, X-ray laser pulses that are as short and high-energy as possible. ...

New Webb image reveals dusty disk like never seen before

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has imaged the inner workings of a dusty disk surrounding a nearby red dwarf star. These observations represent the first time the previously known disk has been imaged at these infrared ...

Serpent in the sky captured with ESO telescope

A myriad of stars is revealed behind the faint orange glow of the Sh2-54 nebula in this new infrared image. Located in the constellation Serpens, this stunning stellar nursery has been captured in all its intricate detail ...

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Wavelength

In physics, the wavelength of a sinusoidal wave is the spatial period of the wave – the distance over which the wave's shape repeats. It is usually determined by considering the distance between consecutive corresponding points of the same phase, such as crests, troughs, or zero crossings, and is a characteristic of both traveling waves and standing waves. Wavelength is commonly designated by the Greek letter lambda (λ). The concept can also be applied to periodic waves of non-sinusoidal shape. The term wavelength is also sometimes applied to modulated waves, and to the sinusoidal envelopes of modulated waves or waves formed by interference of several sinusoids.

Assuming a sinusoidal wave moving at a fixed wave speed, wavelength is inversely proportional to frequency: waves with higher frequencies have shorter wavelengths, and lower frequencies have longer wavelengths.

Examples of wave-like phenomena are sound waves, light, and water waves. A sound wave is a periodic variation in air pressure, while in light and other electromagnetic radiation the strength of the electric and the magnetic field vary. Water waves are periodic variations in the height of a body of water. In a crystal lattice vibration, atomic positions vary periodically in both lattice position and time.

Wavelength is a measure of the distance between repetitions of a shape feature such as peaks, valleys, or zero-crossings, not a measure of how far any given particle moves. For example, in waves over deep water a particle in the water moves in a circle of the same diameter as the wave height, unrelated to wavelength.

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