# How to calculate wavelength from frequency

**Introduction**

Wavelength and frequency are two fundamental properties of a wave that are essential in understanding various concepts in physics and engineering. While they are simple to define, the calculation of one from the other can sometimes be a challenge for beginners. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how to calculate wavelength from frequency.

**What are Wavelength and Frequency?**

**1. Wavelength (λ):** It is the physical distance between two consecutive troughs or crests in a wave. It is typically measured in meters (m) or nanometers (nm) for smaller scales.

**2. Frequency (f):** It is the number of cycles of a wave that occur in one second. It is measured in Hertz (Hz), which is equivalent to the number of oscillations per second.

The relationship between Wavelength and Frequency

The speed of a wave (v) is the product of its wavelength and frequency:

**v = λ × f**

In most cases, we consider electromagnetic waves or light waves, where the speed of light (c) in a vacuum is constant at approximately 3 x 10^8 meters per second. Therefore, we can rewrite the equation for light waves as:

c = λ × f

**Calculating Wavelength from Frequency**

To calculate the wavelength from frequency, simply rearrange the above formula to isolate wavelength:

λ = c / f

Now that we have our equation, follow these steps:

**1. Determine the frequency:** Identify the frequency given in Hertz (Hz).

**2. Convert frequency to SI units:** If necessary, convert the given frequency into Hertz by considering conversion factors like kHz or MHz.

**3. Calculate wavelength:** Divide the speed of light (c) by the frequency (f) using your calculator:

λ = c / f

**4. Express the answer in appropriate units:** Depending on the context, you may need to convert the wavelength (in meters) to an appropriate unit, such as nanometers.

**Example Calculation**

Let’s consider a radio station that broadcasts at a frequency of 100 MHz. We’ll calculate the wavelength of this radio wave.

**1. Frequency:** The frequency is given as 100 MHz.

**2. Convert frequency: **Since 1 MHz = 1,000,000 Hz, we have:

Frequency = 100 MHz × 1,000,000 Hz/MHz = 100,000,000 Hz

**3. Calculate wavelength**: Divide the speed of light (c) by the frequency (f):

λ = 3 x 10^8 m/s / 100,000,000 Hz = 3 meters

Our calculated wavelength for this radio wave is precisely 3 meters.

**Conclusion**

Calculating wavelength from frequency is a straightforward process once you understand the relationship between them and the speed of light in a vacuum. Keep in mind that while this method works for electromagnetic waves, it may need to be adjusted when calculating wavelengths for other types of waves. Now that you are well-equipped with this knowledge, go ahead and explore the fascinating world of waves and their properties.