The Electromagnetic Spectrum

Light and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

The visible light that has been the focus of this unit so far is only actually a very small section of a much larger spectrum - the Electromagnetic spectrum.

The video below gives an introduction to light and the EM Spectrum, as well as giving a taster of some of Higher and Advanced Higher Physics:-

Like light, all sections of the Electromagnetic spectrum:-


1. Made up of changing electric and magnetic fields.

2. Travel at the same speed (3x108 m s−1).

3. Can travel through a vacuum.

4. Can be reflected.

5. Can be refracted.

6. Can be diffracted.


The only difference between visible light and the rest of the EM Spectrum is the energy of each section (which varies proportionally with Frequency).

The table below gives key information about each part of the EM Spectrum:-

Telecoms Engineer

As a Telecoms Engineer, you would set up and look after broadband, mobile phone and landline telephone networks. You would also work on satellite, digital TV and fibre optic systems.

The size of each job would vary. You might set up a large corporate network one day and a home satellite system the next.

This job can be dangerous, and you may sometimes have to work at heights. You would have to follow health and safety guidelines carefully at all times.

Telecoms Engineer

Engineering Apprenticeship

A Career as an Telecoms Engineer

Salary: from £30,000 to £35,000 per year

Engineer working hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may also have on-call duties to cover out-of-hours and emergencies.

Typical entry requirements:There are different routes into this role:

A Modern Apprenticeship leading to a relevant Scottish Vocational Qualifications in Telecommunications (SVQ level 3).

A National Certificate (SCQF level 7), a National Qualification (SCQF level 7), a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) in areas like Electronic Engineering or Computing Science.

Employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF levels 4 to 6, in particular for entry to a Modern Apprenticeship.

Skills required:

  • Cooperating

  • Verbal communication

  • Working with technology

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