Definition

wavelength

Wavelength is the distancebetween identical points in the adjacent cycles of a waveform signal propogated in space or along a wire, as shown in the illustration. In wirelesssystems, this length is usually specified in meters,centimeters, or millimeters.  Inthe case of infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, and gammaradiation, the wavelength ismore often specified in nanometers (units of 10-9meter) or Angstrom units(units of 10-10 meter).

Wavelength is inversely related to frequency. The higher the frequency of the signal, the shorter the wavelength. Iff is the frequency of the signal as measured in megahertz, and w isthe wavelength as measuredin meters, then

w = 300/f

and conversely

f = 300/w

Wavelength is sometimes represented by the Greek letter lambda.

This was last updated in October 2006
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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