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2answers
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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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1answer
92 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 ...
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1answer
152 views

Will a football (soccer) diffract?

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 ...
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4answers
5k 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 ...
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2answers
396 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 ...
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2answers
152 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 ...
3
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1answer
110 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?
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2answers
154 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
177 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?
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1answer
576 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 ...
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2answers
453 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
350 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, $$ ...
5
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4answers
141 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?
3
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1answer
170 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 ...
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1answer
155 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 ...
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3answers
418 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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vote
2answers
255 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?
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0answers
44 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?