On the EM Spectrum, which type of wave has the most energy?
A general guideline tends to be : short wavelength, high energy . But here is a way to show which waves are the most energetic:
The energy of a wave is given by the equation:
Hence we can see that the energy of a wave is proportional to its frequency, as the other term is a constant.
Then we can ask ourselves, which waves are the ones with the highest frequency?
If we use another equation:
Then we can see that, as
Now if we use this diagram of the EM-spectrum which show wavelengths:
We can thus conclude that the waves that have the shortest wavelength are gamma rays, and thus they are the most energetic because they must also have the highest frequency.