As we move from the high energy and very dangerous gamma waves to the low energy radio waves, we see a huge difference in how they react with the human body. Gamma rays are nuclear and are deadly to the human body in large amounts. Radio waves on the other hand are completely harmless and surround us everyday. In fact, as we go down the electromagnetic spectrum we will use examples from our everyday lives to explain the different uses of each of the suns waves.
Gamma-rays have the smallest wavelengths and the most energy of any other wave in the electromagnetic spectrum. These waves are generated by radioactive atoms and in nuclear explosions. Gamma-rays can kill living cells, a fact which medicine uses to its advantage, using gamma-rays to kill cancerous cells.
We all know x-ray waves from our visits to the hospital. These waves are what give our health care professionals the ability to see into our bodies to determine if we need medical attention. When a doctor takes an x-ray what he is doing is shooting x-ray wavelengths through our body onto a film on the other side. Because our bones are denser than our skin they leave an image or silhouette that is captured onto film. X-rays can be very harmful if not controlled and are why health professionals have to wear a lead vest to protect areas that are not being photographed.
Ultraviolet Light waves have the third highest energy levels on the electromagnetic spectrum. These are the waves that give us those terrible sunburns at the beach. Ultraviolet waves are broken down (as they go down the spectrum) into UVC, UVB and UVA waves. Our earth's atmosphere captures most of the UVC and UVB waves. This means that 99% of the ultraviolet light that hits our planet is UVA light waves. Don't be fooled though. Ultraviolet light and its three wavelength components are both good and bad for the human body. UV light aides the production of Vitamin D in our skin and without it we face the very real chance of contracting such diseases as bone deficiencies and certain types of cancers. In fact, tens of thousands of people die each year from a lack of Vitamin D production. Ultraviolet light though can be very damaging as well. We all know the effects of a nasty sunburn. But the reality is that scientists use UV light waves as a radiological treatment to kill everything from bacteria to cancerous cells. It is a very potent radioactive wave that must be used with extreme caution. Even limited exposure can be very harmful to the human body.
The fourth highest energy level, moving down the electromagnetic spectrum, is where we arrive to the wavelengths that are visible to our naked eye. Visible light wavelengths are what we see as the colors of the rainbow. Believe it or not though, even the colors of a rainbow are not all equal when you measure them electromagnetically. For instance the color violet has more frequent wavelengths (and is only slightly less frequent than Ultra Violet Light) and thus more energy than the color on the opposite side of the spectrum, red (which is closer to Infrared energy). Although this energy level is less harmful on our bodies it still can do damage if overexposed, especially on our eyes.
The third less frequent and thus, less dangerous wavelength from the sun's energy is Infrared waves. These are the waves that produce heat and are known to scientists as thermal waves. The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is all infrared. The infrared wavelength is further broken down to three subsets, Near, Mid and Far Infrared. Near infrared is actually not hot at all, in fact you cannot even feel it. Near Infrared are the wavelengths that are used to send messages to our TV's from our remote controls. They are higher in frequency and thus have more energy than Far Infrared, but to such a low degree that they do not harm our human bodies. Mid infrared is where the thermal waves begin to produce heat. This is where we begin to feel the wave's energy. Imagine a hot burner after it has been turned off. Even though we cannot see the red hot coils, we can feel the heat that they produce. These are the mid infrared rays that are our bodies nerve endings are sensing.
Far infrared is at the very outer of the Infrared spectrum and has the lowest energy level. It is what produces heat. Many people have far infrared lights in their bathrooms. We call them heat lamps, but all they really are is a reproduction of the suns Far Infrared rays. Far Infrared Energy is part of the Sun's natural wavelength that heats objects using a process known as direct light conversion. Direct light conversion is a phenomenon that only warms the object it is focused on and does not raise the temperature of the surrounding free air. Far infrared wavelengths have the ability to penetrate deep into our bodies. Studies have shown that far infrared can actually penetrate up to 2-3 inches deep, heating the core of our bodies and penetrating deep down into our muscle tissues, fat cells and organs. Far infrared light is not harmful to the human body except for the possibility of over heating. The many uses of Far Infrared light are just beginning to be learned and we are only at the tip of the iceberg on the many health benefits Far Infrared has to offer.
Microwave wavelengths are common to most of us. Any one who has heated up a dinner in their microwave is familiar with its powers. A microwave oven works by passing microwave radiation, through the food. Water, fat, and sugar molecules in the food absorb energy from the microwave wave. Microwave heating is most efficient on liquid water, and much less so on fats and sugars. Microwave waves are also used in cell phone technology and are how we are able to talk to one another as we roam. Microwaves are beamed down from cell towers and any receiver in range can communicate through the microwave waves being sent back to the tower and relayed to other phones. Microwaves have been proven to be harmless to human beings and open many possibilities for future uses.
The final spectrum produced by the sun's energy is radio waves. Mankind has been using these waves for close to a century to produce radio and wire transmissions. These wavelengths are the longest and less frequent (less energy) of all the sun's wavelengths. Today we find them in use for everything from Antennae TV reception to radio stations to cell phone transmissions. Again, these waves are perfectly safe for human beings and are used in numerous ways.
This simple explanation of the sun's energy waves is exactly that, SIMPLE. The actual processes are far more complex and difficult to understand. The most important fact though, is to begin to understand how the sun's energy is broken down into wavelength frequencies and to see how they react with our human bodies. Mankind has harnessed every aspect of the sun's energy, but as we learned above, we can only physically handle wavelength frequencies from visible light down. Scientists and Health Professionals abound are excited at the many possible technical breakthroughs available from the sun's wavelengths. Far infrared is just one of the latest of these technical breakthroughs. Why not let the sun's energy work for you.