|What would be used for a wave that has the
wavelength of about the size of a molecule of
|Question Date: 2012-10-25|
A water molecule has a diameter of 0.275
nanometers, or 2.75 × 10-10
meters. This wavelength falls in the X ray
part of the electomagnetic
spectrum. These waves can be generated using
a vacuum tube, in which
electrons are forced from a cathode at high
speeds to collide with a
metal target. Thanks to the photoelectric
effect, a high-energy photon
is released from the metal with the appropriate
X-rays have a similar wavelength to the size
of a water molecule. Because X-rays are about
the same size as atoms, they are often used to
determine the position or arrangement of atoms
The size of a water molecule is about .1
nanometers, or 10-10 meters. So to
figure out which type of electromagnetic wave
has a wavelength about that size, we can look at
an electromagnetic spectrum chart. Looking at
such a chart, we find that Xrays have
wavelengths about this size.
Well, the size of a water molecule is around
0.3 nanometers (that's 0.0000000003 meters!).
It turns out that this is in the X-ray region of
the electromagnetic spectrum, so you'd need X-
rays if you wanted electromagnetic waves with a
wavelength the size of a water molecule.
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