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Maxwell's Rainbow

Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell discovered the electromagnetic spectrum (Hendry, J., 1986). Maxwell's rainbow reaches from the extremely low frequencies (and gigantic wavelengths) used to communicate with submarines all the way through the frequencies used in radio, television and cellular phones, on up to the frequencies of infrared used in TV remotes and fiber optics, and beyond that to visible and ultraviolet light and X rays (Buchwald, J. Z., 1985).

In a fabulous feat of unification, Maxwell reduced the entire spectrum to just four equations in vector calculus (as represented below). He showed that all such radiations move at the speed of light  in other words, the wavelength times the frequency equals 

the speed of light. These equations pulse at the heart of the information economy today. Each of these equations are also been known concurrently and respectively as Faraday=s Law, Ampere=s Circuital Law, Gauss= Law Electric, and Gauss= Law Magnetic (Buchwald, J. Z., 1985).

How is Maxwell=s Rainbow or as it is more widely known, the electromagnetic spectrum, being utilized? As a conduit for communications. Virtually all electromagnetic radiation can bear information, and the higher the frequencies, the more room they provide for bearing information (Rothman, 1963). The principle in use since radio began, is to modulate a given frequency in a known manner, and demodulate the frequency at the other end. In short, communication of all sorts can take place through the manipulation of electromagnetic frequencies.

This can take place either through wire as an electronic signal pulsed down a line, or through the air via electromagnetic radiation. In either case, as quantum physics and digital technology evolve, their is a tacit understanding that waveforms representative of a moving and purposeful signal represent virtually the same thing (Fenyman, 1963). Heisenberg=s Uncertainty Principle indicates that whe...

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Maxwell's Rainbow. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 02:33, February 23, 2017, from