Waves and How They Affect Life.

Topics: Ultraviolet, Electromagnetic radiation, Light Pages: 5 (2051 words) Published: May 6, 2003
Waves effect our everyday life in many ways. Waves are very interesting ways to travel, and we don't mean surfing! Many things we use every day involve waves. Lights and sounds are examples of everyday uses that travel by wave. On the spectrum of light there are waves listed which are X-Rays, UV-Rays, and Infrared. Some of these are harmful to life, and some of these are helpful to life, where mostly they all serve both of these purposes. Another type of wave, though not on the spectrum because it is not light, are sound waves. Weather the wave is a sound wave or a light wave it consists of the basic similar parts. These waves all contain wavelength and frequency. A longer wavelength will mean a smaller energy level, as to where a shorter wave length makes the wave more compact and it will have a higher energy level. Some of the energy levels can become so high that they may become harmful. Other waves may have such a low energy that they are invisible or silent to humans without man-made devices. One small change in a wave can make a world of difference in its entire energy outcome. Waves are very interesting items that effect our lives both positively and negatively.

UV. Radiation in sunlight is divided up into three separate parts which are based on wavelengths, or more commonly read as energy. These parts are UV-A , UV-B., and UV-C.. UV-A. is 320-400 nanometers. In general shorter wavelengths are more harmful to living organisms such as people. 'A. can cause skin damage and may cause Melanomatous skin cancer. UV-B. is 280-320 nanometers. 'B. increases in the summer and is the most common cause of sun burn and most commonly skin cancer. UV-C. is the strongest of the three rays. 'C. is below 280 nanometers. 'C is the most dangerous form of UV. Rays, however, UV-C also is so powerful that it kills bacteria and viruses. Because of this, it is used for sterilizing surfaces. Much of 'B and most of 'C is absorbed by the earths atmosphere before it can reach the earth's surface. Much of what is not absorbed this way is absorbed by ordinary window glass or impurities/ particles in the air (e.g., water, dust, and smoke) or is screened by clothing. UV-Radiation is not entirely harmful, though many fear it, it is a necessity to life. UV-Rays, when burning the skin, produces vitamin D which humans and animals need for good health.

Cancer is a very serious disease that may be caused by ultra violet rays. The types of UV. Rays are UV-A. , UV-B., and UV-C.. UV-B. has a shorter wave length than UV-A. and UV-C.. It produces more energy and may be considered the Cancer causing wave. The only natural prevention people have, to protect themselves from cancer, is the O-Zone Layer. Since the o zone is depleting the occurrence of cancer (especially skin cancer) is increasing rapidly. It is estimated that for every one percent decrease in the o zone layer, there is a six percent increase in the incidence of non-melenoma skin cancer such as basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer ( Leffell 94). Now scientists believe cancer can be caused not only by the higher intensities of ultra violet rays, but by low intensity UV-Rays as well. This may mean that a person has a risk of receiving cancer from fluorescent or halogen lamps at home. Though there is no scientific evidence of this yet some scientist feel it may be a scientifically proved cause of cancer in the future.

An X-ray is a penetrating electromagnetic radiation, having a shorter wavelength than light, and produced by bombarding a target, usually made of tungsten (Encarta 98). In short X-rays are the rays used to penetrate through the skin and produce and image of the bone structure. X-rays are produced whenever high-velocity electrons strike a material object. Much of the energy lost in the electrons is lost in heat. The rest of the energy produces X-rays by changing target's atoms as a result of the impact. The X-Rays made from this contact have no more energy than the kinetic...
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