Angstrom units, 1 to 10 (then in increments of 10 to X power) up to 1-100 meters?

I can understand an answer that says.."Yes, Angstroms go in these "X powers" until they hit one meter." Why so confusing?

For instance, looking here I see 4,000 through 8,000 (A) in a color guide, why then the thousands of (A's)? Then there are solar spectrum lines" of chemicals, then, emmision spectra, based on Li, Na, K, Rb.>>> How about just make that O2, H2, C, < the basic elements? Im just not getting it, and I need too, badly. Thanks! :)

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Angstrom units became favorites with scientists working with photons in the visible and near-visible region of the EM spectrum, because it was clumsy to record an emission wavelength as 5.236 x 10^-7 meters, with recorded data representing wavelengths from 4.000 x 10^-7meters to 8.000 x 10^-7 meters. 4000 A to 8000 A looks much neater.

    Once the Angstrom was defined as 10^-10 meters length, it became just as clumsy to record gamma rays and x-rays in the keV and MeV range by wavelengths from 50 keV to 50 MeV as 0.248 A to 0.000248 A, so we gave up and recorded the higher energy photons by their energies in keV, and MeV, since for the higher energy photons, it was the damage they could do that interested science (initially), and higher energy numbers equated with higher damage.

    The selection of units is mostly for convenience of people working in each different field of science.

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