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How to Grasp Confusing Light Therapy and 5G EM Frequencies

Which frequency is larger: 1,500 MHz, or 1.6 GHz? If you were comparing two therapy devices with these frequencies, would your eyes glaze over converting megahertz into gigahertz? I want to accurately understand and convey the healing and harmful effects of EMFs. I wrote this guide to help everyone speak the same EMF language.

Use these instructions to convert frequencies and wavelengths into comparable values. Use these frequency examples to visualize frequencies, to make them more intuitive to you. Then you will be able to compare Red Light Therapy, Pulsed EMF, cell phones, and every other electromagnetic field source. Understand EMF frequencies and wavelengths to make the right therapy and protection choices.

Why There are Different EMF Spectrum Band Names

Below are two graphics of the EMF Spectrum. The first is from Howard University. The second is from NASA.

Howard University EMF Spectrum Graphic
Howard University EMF Spectrum Graphic (source) Click for LARGE version.
NASA EMF spectrum
NASA EMF spectrum (source) Click for LARGE version

They do not appear to be describing the same things. They are breaking up the EMF spectrum into different buckets.

This is one of the difficulties of understanding EMFs. The frequencies and wavelengths are the same, but the descriptions of these things are different.

Astronomy, telephony, photobiology, and other sciences use the spectrum in different ways. Each science gives the bands within the spectrum different names.

Our concern is with light therapy and telephone safety. We will use EMF spectrum bands that logically describe these areas of EMFs.

Why Wavelengths are Expressed as Nanometers and as Powers of Ten

Looking at the Howard U EMF spectrum, we see two different wavelength qualifiers. Visible light wavelengths are in nanometers. Non-visible EMF wavelengths are in negative powers of ten.

Visible Band Nanometer Wavelengths

This graphic gives us EMF wavelengths in nanometers. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter.

The graphic gives the other wavelengths in negative powers of ten meters.

How do we compare a 700 nm red frequency wavelength with a 10^-5 infrared wavelength?

Non-Visible Band Exponential Wavelengths

The red wavelength is 700 nm long, or 700 billionths of meter.

It is difficult to compare 700 nm to a power of ten.

I want to compare 700 nm to 10^-5, but I cannot visualize 10^-5.

Let’s turn it into nanometers.

Just as you use an exponent to express many zeros to the left of the decimal point, you use a negative exponent to express zeros to the right of the decimal point.

When you see a negative exponent, you are looking at a fraction of whatever it is you are measuring. In this case, a fraction of a meter.

Here is a shortcut to compare nanometers to nanometers. Convert the negative power of ten to a decimal, and multiply that result by a billion.

Multiply by a billion to get the fraction in nanometers.

Why are we multiplying by a billion? Because our comparison is to a nanometer, which is a billionth of a meter.

If we wanted to compare our result to a centimeter (centi=100), we would multiply our result by one hundred.

Convert 10^-5 Meters to Nanometers

To convert a negative power of ten to a decimal, use this shortcut:

  1. Start with zero and a decimal:
  2. Reverse the negative exponent to a positive value: N
  3. Subtract 1 from that result: N-1
  4. Use this new result to be the number of zeros to the right of the decimal point: (N-1 zeros)
  5. Add a 1 at the end: 0.(N-1 zeros)1

To convert 10^-5 Meters to Nanometers:

  1. Start with zero and a decimal:
  2. Reverse the negative exponent to a positive value: 5
  3. Subtract 1 from the previous answer: 4
  4. Add the new result to be the number of zeros to the right of the decimal: 0000
  5. Add a 1 and the end: 00001
  6. Multiply by a billion: 10,000
  7. 10^-5 meters is 10,000 nanometers

Once you see the pattern, it is easy to take a negative power of ten and turn it into a decimal.

To Convert 10^-1 Meters to Nanometers:

  1. start with
  2. reverse exponent: 1
  3. subtract 1: 0
  4. Add zero zeros to the right of the decimal:
  5. Add a one at the end: 1
  6. Multiply by a billion: 100,000,000
  7. 10^-1 meters is one hundred million nm

To Convert 10^-2 Meters to Nanometers:

  1. start with
  2. reverse exponent: 2
  3. subtract 1: 1
  4. Add one zero to the right of the decimal: 0
  5. Add a one at the end: 01
  6. Multiply by a billion: 10,000,000
  7. 10^-2 meters is 10 million nanometers

Why Frequencies are in Hz and in Powers of Ten

Look at the frequencies in our EMF spectrum graphic.

Gamma is 10^20 Hz. Radio is 10^8 Hz.

How do we read these numbers?

In Which EMF Band is the 5G Network?

To place 5G in the EMF spectrum,, find 10 billion Hz and 100 billion Hz on the graph.

The 5G network operates at 28 GHz and 39 GHz.

I’m sure that they are somewhere in the 10^8 to 10^20 frequencies in the EMF spectrum.

But where?

In Which EMF Band is Your Wireless Router?

Your wireless router probably runs at 2.4 GHz.

I do not know where that is on the EMF spectrum that ranges from 10^8 to 10^20.

The graphic expresses frequencies in exponents.

We need normal values.

To place 2.4 GHz in the EMF spectrum, find 1 billion and 10 billion on the EMF graph.

Use an Order of Magnitude Prefix

The Hertz shorthand prefixes make it easy to discuss large numbers in a shorthand way.

Each new prefix is one order of magnitude higher than the previous one.

A kHz is one thousand times greater than a Hz.

A MHz is one thousand times greater than a kHz.

  1. a Hertz (Hz) is one cycle per second
  2. a kilohertz (kHz) is a thousand cycles per second
  3. 1 megahertz (MHz) is a million cycles per second
  4. 1 gigahertz (GHz) is a billion cycles per second
  5. 1 terahertz (THz) is a trillion cycles per second
  6. 1 petahertz (PHz) is a quadrillion cycles per second

Convert an Exponent Hertz to a Prefix Hertz

To convert an exponent Hertz, to a prefix Hertz:

  1. calculate the exponent
  2. Find the closest order of magnitude for the result, one that is equal to or less than the result, but not greater
  3. Divide the result by the order of magnitude
  4. Add the order of magnitude Hz prefix after the result

Example: Convert 10^3 Hertz to a Prefix Hertz

  1. calculate the exponent: 10^3 is 10 x 10 (100) x 10 (1,000): 1,000
  2. find the prefix that matches the order of magnitude: kilo (1,000)
  3. divide the result (1,000) by the order of magnitude (1,000): 1
  4. Add the order of magnitude Hz prefix after the result: 1 kHz
  5. 10^3 Hertz is 1 kHz

10^3 Hz is 1 kHz

Example: Convert 10^4 Hertz to a Prefix Hertz

  1. calculate the exponent: 10^4 is 10 x 10 (100) x 10 (1,000) x 10 (10,000): 10,000
  2. find the prefix that matches the order of magnitude: kilo (1,000)
  3. divide the result (10,000) by the order of magnitude (1,000): 10
  4. Add the order of magnitude Hz prefix after the result: 10 kHz

10^4 is 10 kHz

Example: Convert 10^5 Hertz to a Prefix Hertz

  1. calculate the exponent: 10^5 is 10 x 10 (100) x 10 (1,000) x 10 (10,000) x 10 (100,000): 100,000
  2. find the prefix that matches the order of magnitude: kilo (1,000)
  3. divide the result (100,000) by the order of magnitude (1,000): 100
  4. Add the order of magnitude Hz prefix after the result: 100 kHz

10^5 is 100 kHz

Example: Convert 10^6 Hertz to a Prefix Hertz

  1. calculate the exponent: 10^6 is 10 x 10 (100) x 10 (1,000) x 10 (10,000) x 10 (100,000) x 10 (1,000,000): 1,000,000
  2. find the prefix that matches the order of magnitude: mega (1,000,000)
  3. divide the result (1,000,000) by the order of magnitude (1,000,000,): 1
  4. Add the order of magnitude Hz prefix after the result: 1 MHz

10^6 is 1 MHz

Example: Convert 10^7 Hertz to a Prefix Hertz

  1. calculate the exponent: 10^7 is 10 x 10 (100) x 10 (1,000) x 10 (10,000) x 10 (100,000) x 10 (1,000,000) x 10 (10,000,000): 10,000,000
  2. find the prefix that matches the order of magnitude: mega (1,000,000)
  3. divide the result (10,000,000) by the order of magnitude (1,000,000,): 10
  4. Add the order of magnitude Hz prefix after the result: 10 MHz

10^7 Hz is 10 MHz

Example: Convert 10^8 Hertz to a Prefix Hertz

  1. calculate the exponent: 10^8 is 10 x 10 (100) x 10 (1,000) x 10 (10,000) x 10 (100,000) x 10 (1,000,000) x 10 (10,000,000) x 10 (100,000,000): 100,000,000
  2. find the prefix that matches the order of magnitude: mega (1,000,000)
  3. divide the result (100,000,000) by the order of magnitude (1,000,000,): 100
  4. Add the order of magnitude Hz prefix after the result: 100 MHz

10^8 Hz is 100 MHz

Example: Convert 10^9 Hertz to a Prefix Hertz

  1. calculate the exponent: 10^9 is 10 x 10 (100) x 10 (1,000) x 10 (10,000) x 10 (100,000) x 10 (1,000,000) x 10 (10,000,000) x 10 (100,000,000) x 10 (1,000,000,000): 1,000,000,000
  2. find the prefix that matches the order of magnitude: giga (1,000,000,000)
  3. divide the result (1,000,000,000) by the order of magnitude (1,000,000,000,): 1
  4. Add the order of magnitude Hz prefix after the result: 1 GHz

10^9 Hz is 1 GHz

Example: Convert 10^10 Hertz to a Prefix Hertz

  1. calculate the exponent: 10^9 is 10 x 10 (100) x 10 (1,000) x 10 (10,000) x 10 (100,000) x 10 (1,000,000) x 10 (10,000,000) x 10 (100,000,000) x 10 (1,000,000,000) x 10 (10,000,000,000: 10,000,000,000
  2. find the prefix that matches the order of magnitude: giga (1,000,000,000)
  3. divide the result (10,000,000,000) by the order of magnitude (1,000,000,000,000): 10
  4. Add the order of magnitude Hz prefix after the result: 10 GHz

10^10 Hz is 10 GHz

2.4 GHz is between 10^9 Hz and 10^10 Hz

Now we know where 2.4 GHz is in the EMF spectrum. 10 to the ninth is 1 GHz. 10 to the tenth is 10 GHz. Our router frequency is 2.4 GHz. The router is in the range between 10^9 and 10^10. Look at the graphic. 2.4 GHz is in the Microwave band of the EMF Spectrum.

A 2.4 GHz router emits electromagnetic frequencies between 1 and 10 billion, or 1 GHz and 10 GHz, or 10^9 Hz and 10^10 Hz.

Example: Convert 10^11 Hertz to a Prefix Hertz

  1. calculate the exponent: 10^9 is 10 x 10 (100) x 10 (1,000) x 10 (10,000) x 10 (100,000) x 10 (1,000,000) x 10 (10,000,000) x 10 (100,000,000) x 10 (1,000,000,000) x 10 (10,000,000,000) x 10 (100,000,000,000): 100,000,000,000
  2. find the prefix that matches the order of magnitude: giga (1,000,000,000)
  3. divide the result (10,000,000,000) by the order of magnitude (1,000,000,000,): 10
  4. Add the order of magnitude Hz prefix after the result: 100 GHz

10^11 Hz is 100 GHz

28 GHz and 39 GHz are between 10^10 Hz and 10^11 Hz

Now we know where 5G frequencies are in the EMF spectrum. They are between 10 GHz and 100 GHz. Therefore they are between 10^10 and 10^11 Hertz in the spectrum.

5G emits frequencies at 28 GHz and 39 GHz. These are between 10 billion and 100 billion Hz, or between 10 Ghz and 100 GHz, or between 10^10 Hz and 10^11 Hz.

Find the Radio Spectrum

Another problem you will run into understanding the EMF spectrum: different sciences divide of EM into different categories.

We just calculated that 2.4 GHz had to be in the microwave spectrum, based on the Howard University EMF spectrum graphic above.

Where is 2.4 GHz on this NASA EMF Spectrum graphic?

You do not need to transform the exponents. Look between 1 GHz and 10 GHz.

Which range is this? It’s the Super High Frequency (SHF) EMF range.

Why is this not the microwave range?

NASA uses fields for astronomy.

Because EMF Channel is concerned with telecommunication devices, we are using the EMF Spectrum broken up for telephony and light therapy devices.

You can call 2.4 GHz a “super high frequency,” but that will just confuse the issue.

Notice that in the NASA graphic, the “Radio Spectrum” is between 1 kHz and 100 GHz.

In the Howard U. graphic, the Radio Spectrum is about 10^6 and 10^10 (1 MHz to 10 GHz).

The sad fact is that you cannot depend on EMF spectrum diagrams to give you the EMF picture.

Use the frequencies, wavelengths and energies to study light and phone devices, but not the EMF spectrum band names.

What Happens in the Electromagnetic Spectrum

We cannot depend on the EMF spectrum band names, so how do we understand what happens in the electromagnetic field world?

Now we will look at examples of what you will find at various frequencies.

The hope is to make the EMF spectrum more intuitive.
Did you know that the earth has an electromagnetic frequency? It is one of the human brainwaves as well. American electricity transmits at 60 Hz. Our brains, the earth, and fabricated electric transmission all operate within 60 Hz (at the most) of one another.
Both cell phones and long distance land-to-submarine communications use frequencies in the kilohertz range. The thousand hertz range contains popular communication frequencies.

Quadrillion and quintillion frequency waves are so powerful that they knock electrons out of orbit. These “ionizing” frequencies knock electrons out of biological DNA, causing illness and death.

From this Frequency

To this Frequency

Example EMFs in this Range

0 Hz

0 Hz

0.3 Hz

300 Hz

1 Hz

4 Hz

3 Hz

30 Hz

3 Hz

60 Hz

4 Hz

8 Hz

7.83 Hz

7.83 Hz

8 Hz

13 Hz

12 Hz

30 Hz

30 Hz

100 Hz

30 Hz

300 Hz

Super Low Frequency (SLF) radio waves

60 Hz

60 Hz

300 Hz

3 kHz

Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) radio waves

3 kHz

30 kHz

30 kHz

300 GHz

24.8 kHz

24.8 kHz

30 kHz

300 kHz

30 kHz

300 GHz

300 kHz

3 MHz

2.8 MHz

10 MHz

3 MHz

30 MHz

30 MHz

300 MHz

88 MHz

108 MHz

300 MHz

3 GHz

600 MHz

600 MHz

Verizon 4G LTE cellular networks

700 MHz

2.5 GHz

Verizon 5G cellular networks

850 MHz

850 MHz

1G and 2G cellular networks

902 MHz

908 MHz

1 GHz

30 GHz

1.7 GHz

1.7 GHz

4G LTE cellular networks

1.9 GHz

1.9 GHz

1G and 2G cellular networks

2.1 GHz

2.1 GHz

Verizon 4G LTE cellular networks

2.3 GHz

2.3 GHz

Verizon 4G LTE cellular networks

2.4 GHz

2.4 GHz

2.4 GHz

2.4385

2.45 GHz

2.45 GHz

2.5 GHz

2.5 GHz

Verizon 4G LTE cellular networks

3 GHz

30 Ghz

39 GHz

39 GHz

Verizon 5G cellular networks

300 GHz

3 THz

0.3 THz

20 THz

30 THz

37 THz

37 THz

100 THz

100 THz

214 Thz

214 THz

400 THz

300 THz

3 PHz

384 THz

468 THz

780 nm - 640 nm

468 THz

500 THz

640 nm - 600 nm

500 THz

526 THz

600 nm - 570 nm

526 THz

612 THz

570 nm - 490 nm

612 THz

697 THz

490 nm - 430 nm

697 THz

789 THz

430 nm - 380 nm

789 THz

300 PHz

380 nm - 1 nm

300 PHz

30 EHz

1 nm - 10 pm

30 EHz

Infinity

 

Hertz Abbreviations and Exponents

Amount
Cycles
Abbreviation Prefix
Abbreviation Cycles
Abbreviation Name
Exponent Quantity of Zeros
This Many Zeros
heptillionths
yoctohertz
y
yHz
yocto
10-24
0.000000000000000000000001
hexillionth
zeptohertz
z
zHz
zepto
10-21
0.000000000000000000001
quintillionth
attohertz
a
aHz
atto
10-18
0.000000000000000001
quadrillionth
femtohertz
f
fHz
femto
10-15
0.000000000000001
trillionth
picohertz
p
pHz
pico
10-12
0.000000000001
billionth
nanohertz
n
nHz
nano
10-9
0.000000001
millionth
microhertz
 (Greek mu)
Hz
micro
10-6
0.000001
thousandth
millihertz
m
mHz
milli
10-3
0.001
hundredth
centihertz
c
cHz
centi
10-2
0.01
tenth
decihertz
d
dHz
deci
10-1
0.10
ten
decahertz
da
daHz
deca
101
10
hundred
hectohertz
h
hHz
hecto
102
100
thousand
kilohertz
k
kHz
kilo
103
1,000
million
megahertz
M
MHz
mega
106
1,000,000
billion
gigahertz
G
GHz
giga
109
1,000,000,000
trillion
terahertz
T
THz
tera
1012
1,000,000,000,000
quadrillion
petahertz
P
pHz
peta
1015
1,000,000,000,000,000
quintillion
exahertz
E
eHz
exa
1018
1,000,000,000,000,000,000
hexillion
zettahertz
Z
ZHz
zetta
1021
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
heptillion
yottahertz
Y
YHz
yotta
1021
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

 

Distance Abbreviations and Exponents

Amount
Abbreviation Prefix
Distance Abbreviation
Abbreviation Name
Exponent Quantity of Zeros
This Many Zeros
heptillionths
y
yoctometers
yocto
10-24
0.000000000000000000000001
hexillionth
z
zeptometers
zepto
10-21
0.000000000000000000001
quintillionth
a
attometers
atto
10-18
0.000000000000000001
quadrillionth
f
femtometers
femto
10-15
0.000000000000001
trillionth
p
picometers
pico
10-12
0.000000000001
billionth
n
nanometers
nano
10-9
0.000000001
millionth
 (Greek mu)
micrometers
micro
10-6
0.000001
thousandth
m
millimeters
milli
10-3
0.001
hundredth
c
centimeters
centi
10-2
0.01
tenth
d
decimeters
deci
10-1
0.10
ten
da
decameters
deca
101
10
hundred
h
hectometers
hecto
102
100
thousand
k
kilometers
kilo
103
1,000
million
M
megameters
mega
106
1,000,000
billion
G
gigameters
giga
109
1,000,000,000
trillion
T
terameters
tera
1012
1,000,000,000,000
quadrillion
P
petameters
peta
1015
1,000,000,000,000,000
quintillion
E
exameters
exa
1018
1,000,000,000,000,000,000
hexillion
Z
zettameters
zetta
1021
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
heptillion
Y
yottametrs
yotta
1021
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

More References