Wave Interference

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  • Created by: kira
  • Created on: 17-06-11 11:44
  • When waves meet they cause disturbance.
  • All waves cause some kind of disturbance - water waves disturb water, sound waves disturb air, light waves disturb electric and magnetic fields.
  • When two waves meet, they both cause their own disturbances and their effects combine. This is called interference.
  • When waves arrive 'in step' they disturb in the same direction and reinforce each other. This is known as constructive interference.
  • Where waves meet out of step, they disturb in opposite directions and cancel out. This is destructive interference.
  •  The total amplitude of the waves at a point is the sum of the individual displacements at that point, taking direction into account.
  • You can observe interference by diffracting two identical light beams through a pair of narrow slits just a fraction of a millimetre apart.
  • If you do this experiment in a dark room with a screen you'll see an…

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