All the waves spread out at the edges when they pass through a gap or past an object. This is diffraction.
The amount of diffraction depends on the size of the gap relative to the wavelength of the wave. The narrower the gap, the longer the wavelength, the more the wave spreads out.
- Gap much wider than wavelength --> little diffraction
- Gap a bit wider than wavelenth --> diffraction only at edges.
- Gap the same lenth as wavelength --> maimum diffraction.
Diffraction causes problems though. It can occour at the edges of dishes use dto transmit signals. This results in signal loss - the wave is more spread out so the signal is weaker.
Mobile phone calls travel as microwaves from your phone to the nearest transmitter.
Microwaves don't diffract uch, so the transmitters need to be positioned in the line…