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Key Idea 4
Electromagnetic Radiation and Interactions with Gases
Concept Question: What is electromagnetic radiation and how does electromagnetic radiation interact with gases in the atmosphere?

In Key Idea 2 we asked “Which properties of different gases are the same?” We saw that the bulk properties of gases, including pressure, volume and temperature, are quite similar for all gases under certain conditions. Now we ask: “What about the interaction of gases with electromagnetic radiation? Will these properties also be the same?”

To answer this question, we first need a basic understanding of electromagnetic radiation and the electromagnetic spectrum.