Question: whats a spectrum?


  1. Hi Princess,

    A spectrum refers to a range of things. So if we are talking about the light spectrum we are talking about the range of wavelengths of light.

    Or if talking about the cool spectrum, we are talking about the range of coolness in people, with some people being really cool, and others that are not so cool… because they like to hang out with frogs.


  2. A spectrum is another way of referring to a range light is made from a spectrum of colors for example.


  3. In general a spectrum breaks a signal down into a set of discrete frequency components and tells you how much power exists in each of those frequency components. For example, the sound coming out of your iPod headphones has a range of frequencies present, low frequencies (bass drum for example) and high frequencies (female vocals for example). A spectrum of that audio signal would show you how much power is driving the bass and how much the vocals, and everything in between. If you like heavy bass, you can adjust the power in the low frequencies and make it louder relative to the high frequencies. Same sort of explanation goes for any sort of signal that is made up of the addition (called superposition) of lots of independent signals. You can split the light from a star into a spectrum and look at how much power there is in the different frequencies of light, in order to determine what atoms are producing the light. The word spectrum is also used to describe a range in some property or characteristic. For example, the autism spectrum describes degrees of autism and places individuals at particular points in a range.