Virtual races with a social conscience

Lindsey N. Dyn

Tel: (703) 951-3516

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UV Energy Equations

For my fellow science and math geeks, welcome!  Seeing is believing, so let’s prove it.  To do so, we need to briefly discuss some energy equations.  (Yes, this is where my inner science nerd takes over.  I guess that chemistry degree can be put to good use.) 


To determine the comparative amounts of energy two different light sources have, we need to consider two equations:


E = hν             where

E = energy
h = Planck's constant = 6.626 x 10   J·s
ν = frequency


c = λν             where

c = speed of light = 3 x 10  m/sec
λ = wavelength
ν = frequency


We need to start with the equation c = λν.  After rearranging, adjusting units for consistency, and plugging in some values:

The (x10   ) is a less cumbersome way of expressing a really small number with lots of decimal points.  So in our examples, the smaller negative powers equate to larger numbers overall, meaning that UVC has the highest amount of energy, followed by UVB, and then UVA.


Whew, that was a lot.  Now back to the main article.