Wavelength Units

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Wavelength Units

Postby Connie2I » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:59 am

I was confused about whether wavelength had to be in nanometers or simply meters, because in the module, the answer to 39. was 486 nm, so I answered the next question number 40. with 746 nm, which was wrong. I'm assuming the correct answer was 7.46 x 10^-6 m, but I wasn't sure how to differentiate when the wavelength's answer should be in nm or m.

Gurshaan Nagra 2F
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Re: Wavelength Units

Postby Gurshaan Nagra 2F » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:18 am

It can be either, sometimes they just convert it to nm when it converts nicely otherwise they tend to leave it in meters.

Shannon Wasley 2J
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Re: Wavelength Units

Postby Shannon Wasley 2J » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:37 am

For most problems it is preferred that the value of the wavelength is in nanometers because it is then easier to see where along the electromagnetic spectrum the wavelength falls. Also, it could be useful to have the value in nanometers for when the next part of the questions asks for what type of region it pertains to. For this problem specifically, it would be easier to leave the value in meters because it would not round neatly in nanometers. A way to tell would be if your number that you calculate for your wavelength has 6 zeros before the three numbers (ex: .000000746), then put it in nanometers. If it has any other amount of zeros in front of the three numbers then keep it in meters.

Kimberly Santander3L
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Re: Wavelength Units

Postby Kimberly Santander3L » Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:09 pm

The problem itself will usually tell you whether it wants the final answer in nanometers or in meters. Make sure to double check it before coming up with the final answer.

Alex Leve 3F
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Re: Wavelength Units

Postby Alex Leve 3F » Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:34 pm

Although the final answer may ask for nanometers, when plugging in wavelength to solve for another value, you would always use the meters, as it is the SI unit.

Jessica Nunez 1I
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Re: Wavelength Units

Postby Jessica Nunez 1I » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:26 pm

If the problem asks for the wavelength in nanometers, I would provide it in nanometers. However, when you are solving the problem, I would use meters since the SI unit is meters and the values of the other constants are given in meters. Hope this helps!

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