Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Body Antenna – Frequency and Waves

Chapter 1 of The Sage Age - Blending Science with Intuitive Wisdom covers aspects of the human body as a sophisticated, multi-faceted antenna system. To encourage discussion, the entire chapter has been divided into topic sections and presented as excerpts for download.

In the first two excerpts, we covered how ritual postures tuned the body’s antenna and learned how light radiates as electromagnetic energy. This third excerpt gives an overview of what the terms frequency and wavelength mean and explain how water waves and light waves are different.

(Some of the words and concepts in this section may be unfamiliar and seem a bit technical, but keep reading. Understanding these terms is very important to grasping the vibrational nature of matter. And, there’s a fun experiment at the end!)

One full cycle of a wave is known as its wavelength. In other words, a wave takes time to develop in a space. The length that it takes to develop completely and then begin repeating is known as the wave’s length, or wavelength. (Pictures of this are in the download.)

How many times the wave can complete this cycle in a second is measured as frequency. The faster a wave is moving, the higher is its frequency. The higher the frequency, the more energy the wave carries.

What does this mean? High frequency waves are also high energy waves. In the spectrum of light waves, visible light has a lower frequency than an FM radio signal. It also has lower energy. An X-ray is a very high frequency, high energy light wave and can cause damage to tissue if it’s exposed to the wave for extended periods.

Amplitude is the height of the wave. For sound, this would equate to its volume. For light, it would equate to intensity. So, wavelength is a side-to-side measurement of a wave. Amplitude is an up-and-down measurement of a wave.

Frequency measures how fast a wave is moving side-to-side and has nothing to do with how high it is up-and-down. Let’s use a sound wave to explain this concept. You could hear a high pitch at a low volume. That means it has a high frequency with a low amplitude.

Download the full excerpt for a fun experiment with a rope that will let you see and feel first-hand how wavelength, frequency, and amplitude work together.

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