Definition

wavelength

Wavelength is the distance between identical points in the adjacent cycles of a waveform signal propogated in space or along a wire, as shown in the illustration. In wireless systems, this length is usually specified in meters, centimeters or millimeters.  In the case of infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, and gammaradiation, the wavelength is more 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. If f is the frequency of the signal as measured in megahertz, and w is the wavelength as measured in 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

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