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2answers
365 views

Diffraction by small holes

This is a follow-up to this question: What happens to waves when they hit smaller apertures than their wavelenghts? Hans Bethe wrote a paper in 1944, "Theory of Diffraction by Small Holes," Phys. ...
3
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2answers
527 views

Diffraction in Electromagnetic Waves

Diffraction can be observed in physical waves very easily, however when it comes to the diffraction of electromagnetic waves in things like the single slit experiment, I become a little confused. In ...
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3answers
2k views

Why is it difficult to differentiate between interference and diffraction?

Why is it difficult to differentiate between interference and diffraction? Is it because we don't clearly understand how both of these phenomenon takes place? My thoughts: From an answer to one of ...
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0answers
144 views

Can the intensity distribution behind edges and slits be explaint by the interaction with the surface electrons of the edges?

Reading about diffraction of EM radiation on edges, slits and multi slits as well as about electron diffraction behind a wire I came to the conclusion that the intensity distributions on an observers ...
110
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6answers
11k views

Very strange shadow phenomenon

I was laying on my bed, reading a book when the sun shone through the windows on my left. I happened to look at the wall on my right and noticed this very strange effect. The shadow of my elbow, when ...
6
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1answer
266 views

Will a football (soccer) diffract? [duplicate]

Apparently all objects have wavelike properties, so, if we kick a football (soccer ball, if you must) through a pair of posts, does the ball in any sense diffract? If this is ridiculous then let me ...
4
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2answers
915 views

Does diffraction occur before interference?

In the double slit experiment, light passes through two slits and the waves interfere and form an interference pattern. A single slit is required for diffraction. So, I was thinking about whether ...
2
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1answer
447 views

Diffracton at the edges of an opaque object?

To understand the phenomenon of diffraction as an interference effects of several dipole oscillators (like in case of several symmetrical, not sawtooth, scratches in a diffraction grating), we ...
6
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4answers
11k views

How can a single slit diffraction produce an interference pattern?

How can a light passed though a single slit produce a similar interference pattern to the double-slit experiment? How does the diffracted wave produce the points of cancellation and reinforcement, if ...
0
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1answer
109 views

Time duration for pulse of single electron viewed as a wave

Electron as an example has a de Broglie wavelength and could diffract. If it has a single wavelength the time extent of the particle's pulse duration would be infinite .. If it carries a broadband ...
4
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5answers
448 views

What happens to waves when they hit smaller apertures than their wavelenghts?

I was wondering this for quite a long time now. Let's say you have a water wave (like ripples, not the ones you see during tsunamis) with wavelength 10 m. Imagine you put a boundary with an opening of ...
2
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4answers
11k views

Difference Between Fraunhofer and Fresnel Diffraction

What is the difference between Fraunhofer diffraction and Fresnel diffraction? I mean diffraction is just bending of light waves or waves in general around a point. So how can there be two types of ...
1
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2answers
275 views

What is Diffraction?

Diffraction is just light interacting with small objects, and bending, but this seems like a very imprecise definition to me. What is diffraction, actually? I was confused because there are at least ...
5
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4answers
203 views

Why can't we perfectly focus light-abberations aside

I don't understand why there is necessarily a diffraction limitation on optical systems. Where does this limitation in focusing light come from?
4
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1answer
391 views

Diffraction Pattern on LCD Screen

I was up late working with my red LED headlamp on and when I was looking at the black part of my LCD (Apple Retina Macbook Pro) screen I noticed this interesting diffraction pattern. I'm confused ...
3
votes
1answer
328 views

Why is the Fraunhoffer Pattern the Fourier transform of the slit?

Why is it that the fourier tranform of the slit (with value 1 where it's open?) gives the fraunhoffer diffraction pattern? Why are these two paired?
3
votes
2answers
304 views

Diffraction by a lens

The fraunhoffer treatment of circular apertures yields a diffraction pattern of circles, with the first minimum (dark ring) at an angular radius of $\theta$ where $\sin(\theta)=1.22\lambda/b$, where ...
3
votes
1answer
277 views

computing wavefront deviations for off-axis mirrors

Suppose you have two off-axis aligned mirrors which are nearly planar, with small deformations such that a wavefront at plane $P_I$ at distance $-D$ from the mirrors, is refocused at distance $D$ at ...
2
votes
2answers
515 views

Can we observe diffraction even if the slit size is tending to zero?

According to Huygens principle, if we consider any point of the primary wave fronts, each point is the source of secondary disturbance. If the point size we consider tends to zero, the number of ...
25
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9answers
9k views

Why does wavelength affect diffraction?

I have seen many questions of this type but I could nowhere find the answer to "why". I know this is a phenomenon which has been seen and discovered and we know it happens and how it happens. But my ...
14
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3answers
251 views

Does the diffracted electron radiate photons?

When electron is diffracted after the slit it might follow different direction, than before the slit. That means, that going through the slit it gains some acceleration. And accelerated charge emits ...
5
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1answer
836 views

How can the Huygens-Fresnel principle be derived from the Maxwell equations?

The Huygens-Fresnel principle states that every point to which a luminous disturbance reaches becomes a source of a spherical wave. I have been trying to understand this considering a infinite screen ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Why does a CD work as a diffraction grating even with light from a light bulb?

I have a really hard time solving the following problem I accidentally came across today. Looking at the back of a usual CD one sees coloured bands. This is explained by the fact that the surface ...
6
votes
1answer
204 views

Is Huygen's Principle Axiomatic?

Is Huygens Principle just a fundamental way to understand light? It always seemed to me that it was somehow "derived" or that it should be-but is it simply a well-founded theory?
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Diffracted electron - where does it gain additional momentum?

When an electron is diffracted, the momentum after the diffraction has different direction than before. Where does the electron gain this momentum? This is related to this question, but it's ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

Diffraction and $k$-space

Regarding diffraction I am a little bit lost reading about reciprocal space and the space of $k$'s. As I understand it the Fourier relationship between a wavepacket $\Psi(\vec r,t)$ and the complex ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Fresnel distance and Geometrical limit

I read about the geometrical limit of wave theory. The source from where I read had a slightly different explanation to provide than here(The more rigorous answer is too complicated for me to ...
2
votes
1answer
388 views

What's the mathematical background to the representation for Gaussian beams?

Background A general optical system (not necessarily having an axis of rotational symmetry) can be represented, for small deviations from a base ray, by the matrix transfer equation, $$ ...
1
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1answer
88 views

What is a wavelength of an EM wave physically?

This might be a silly question given I am a physics undergrad, but I was suddenly confused. Usually when EM hit a gap they diffract through the gap. But if the gap is too small, diffraction can't take ...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

Why light comes out in spherical form after passing through a slit (diffraction)?

I want to know why light comes out in spherical form when it passes through the slit? I know this is due to diffraction but how? And my second question, if there is no difference between ...
1
vote
2answers
432 views

Why are diffraction gratings not called interference gratings?

It seems to me that diffraction gratings are completely described by the double slit experiment-why then is it called a diffraction grating?
0
votes
2answers
65 views

If outside a cylindrical solenoid exist an electrical field what does that mean to the Aharonov-Bohm Effect?

To the question "What is the electric field outside a cylindrical solenoid when inside is turned on a magnetic field" the answer is that outside exists a electric field. Does that mean that the ...
0
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0answers
58 views

Bass and Treble-Car Steroes

In a car which phenomenon, diffraction or the resonant frequency of the car, lends itself more to the ability of bass to go farther? Related Answer: Why do bass tones travel through walls?