Wavelength of Light

Have you ever thought about the reason why humans are capable of seeing colours? The reason is, colours are nothing but electromagnetic radiations with different wavelength of light. In the electromagnetic spectrum, the visible region is otherwise called visible light. These colours have different wavelengths too. In this article, let us learn what is wavelength and wavelength of visible light in detail.

Table of Contents:

What Is Wavelength?

The wavelength of light is defined as “The distance between the two successive crests or troughs of the light wave”. It is denoted by the Greek letter lambda (λ). Therefore, the distance between either one crest or trough of one wave and the next wave is known as wavelength.

What Is Visible Spectrum?

The visible spectrum is nothing but the observable region of the electromagnetic wave which is visible to human eyes. In the electromagnetic spectrum, the visible spectrum ranges from the infrared region to the UV region. The visible light lies in between the infrared and ultraviolet range of wavelengths. The human eye can detect the light spectrum ranging from 400 nanometers (violet) to about 700 nanometers (red). Other electromagnetic radiations are either too small or too large to capture for the human eye and are out of biological limitations.

We can see these waves as the colours of the rainbow where each colour includes a different wavelength. In the visible light, we can also see the sun’s outermost layer – the corona.

Wavelength of Light

When the visible light travels through a prism, the visible light gets separated into a spectrum of colours. Red colour has the longest wavelength of 700 nm, and violet has the shortest wavelength of 380 nm. These colours arrange themselves according to the wavelength as the spectrum of rainbow colours.

How Is the Wavelength of Light Calculated?

As light has the properties of a wave and a particle, it can be expressed in two equations:

\(\begin{array}{l}\nu =\lambda f\end{array} \)
\(\begin{array}{l}E =hf\end{array} \)


  • ν is the velocity of the light.
  • λ is the wavelength of the light.
  • f is the frequency of the light.
  • E is the energy of the light wave.
  • h is the Planck’s Constant ( 6.64 × 10-34 joule.second)

Here, the first equation denotes the wave nature of the light and the second equation denotes the particle nature of the light.

The below video helps to revise the chapter Human Eye and The Colourful World Class 10

Wavelength of Visible Light

  • Wavelength of the Visible Light ranges from 400 nm to 700 nm and here we come to know the wavelength of various colours of the visible spectrum of light.
  • The spectrum of visible light has numerous different colours having different wavelengths.
  • The violet colour is said to have the shortest form of wavelength whereas the red colour is said to have the longest wavelength.
  • It can also be noticed in the below-given figure.

Wavelength of Visible Light

The wavelength for various colours of the visible spectrum of light is provided in the table underneath.

380-450 nm
668-789 THz
450-495 nm
606-668 THz
495-570 nm
526-606 THz
570-590 nm
508-526 THz
590-620 nm
484-508 THz
620-750 nm
400-484 THz

Watch the video and learn more about wavelength of light

Example on Wavelength of Light

Calculate the wavelength of visible light whose frequency is 6.24 x 1014Hz

Ans: Given, Frequency of light = 6.24 x 1014Hz

We know, the velocity of light = 3 x 108 m/sec

As per the formula of the wavelength of light,

\(\begin{array}{l}\lambda =\frac{\nu }{f}\\ \\ \Rightarrow \lambda =\frac{3\times 10^{8}}10{6.24\times 10^{14}}\\ \\ \Rightarrow \lambda = 4.80\times 10^{-7}\end{array} \)

Since wavelength is inversely proportional to the frequency, we can understand that the longer the wavelength of the light, the lower is the frequency. In the same manner, the shorter the wavelength, the higher will be the frequency of the light.
Also, learn the difference between violet and purple.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


What happens to the frequency of the ray of light travelling from one medium to another?

The frequency of the ray of light remains the same when the ray of light is travelling from one medium to another.


What are the properties of light waves emitted by the laser?

Following are the properties of the light waves emitted by the laser:

  • They have the same phase
  • They have the same amplitude
  • They have the same frequency

Why do light waves travel slower in glass than in air?

The light waves travel slower in glass than in air because the density of the glass is greater than the density of the air.


State if the given statement is true or false: Light cannot travel through a vacuum.

The given statement is false because light can travel through a vacuum. Lightwave being an electromagnetic wave, it does not need a medium to propagate.


What happens to the pattern obtained during diffraction if monochromatic light is replaced by the white light?

When the white light replaces monochromatic light, a coloured pattern is observed along with a white fringe at the centre. Also, the clarity of the band will be lost as there will be overlapping of the coloured bands.

Recommended Videos

The below video helps to revise the chapter Light Reflection and Refraction Class 10

The below video helps to revise the topic Human Eye Class 10

Hope you have understood the wavelength of light and the wavelength of visible light. Stay tuned with BYJU’S for more such interesting articles. Also, register to “BYJU’S – The Learning App” for loads of interactive and engaging Physics-related videos.


Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.