# Tagged Questions

Diffraction is defined as the bending or flaring of light around the corners of an obstacle or aperture into the region of geometrical shadow of the obstacle. This flaring is consistent with the spreading of wavelets in the Huygens construction. Diffraction occurs for waves of all types, not just ...

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### 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 ...
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### Why do shadows from the sun join each other when near enough?

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 ...
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### 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. ...
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### Relationship between slit size and wavelength in diffraction

Almost in every book on physics we can find a statement like "diffraction gets stronger when the size of the slit is comparable to the wavelength". Let's say we have a wall in a bathtub with a slit in ...
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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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### 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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### 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 ...
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### 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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### 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 ...
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### 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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### 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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### What is a wavefront?

For this picture Anna wrote: "Incandescent light is incoherent because it comes from many sources and the same is true for sunlight. By passing the light through the one slit he created a single ...
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### 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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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Why does a wave actually diffract?

I know that waves diffract around a slit and this is due to the Huygens-Fresnel principle. But I never understand this in an intuitive wave that why does a wave become a spherical wave front at the ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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?
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### 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 ...
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### 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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### 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 ...
381 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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### 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 ...
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### Is Wikipedia wrong about Huygens-Fresnel Principle?

Someone posted a question about why backward waves don't exist according to the Huygens-Fresnel principle: Why doesn't a backward wave exist? In following up on this question I read the Wikipedia ...
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### Why do waves diffract?

There have already been a lot of questions on this site on diffraction but I still believe this one might be slightly different. In electromagnetic waves, diffraction and any other phenomenon of wave ...
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### 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 ...
1k 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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### Why are electromagnetic waves not able to pass through a hole with a diameter smaller than the wavelength? [duplicate]

I am doing research on Faraday cages for school, and I want to know how it works. Faraday cages can have holes in them, and if the diameter is smaller than the wavelength of waves you want to block, ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### What makes the radiation behind slits coherent?

Have a look on the sketch To get such a intensity distribution of light behind a slit we presuppose that all the light that moves on the two lines is coherent; of the same wavelength AND the same ...
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### how can interference occur within diffraction?

My book says : The number of interference fringes occuring in the broad diffraction peak depends on the ratio d/a that is the ratio of the distance between the two slits to the width of a slit. In ...
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### Is it theoretically possible to project sound in a line, like flashlights?

I was wondering if there is a way to project sound waves on a particular point, like a laser? So that you can you can privately send a voice message to a specific person in crowd. The very first idea ...
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### 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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### Possibility of making an experiment in a classroom to simulate DNA diffraction

I am a TA in a structural chemistry class. The professor want me to show students how Watson and Crick determined the structure of DNA from X-ray diffraction results of DNA crystals. The professor ...
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### Diffraction of matter waves

By considering the De Broglie wavelength of particles, we discover that matter can diffract if passed through openings with itself. This poses a variety of questions, namely Can matter waves ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Can only one electron or photon produce interference pattern?

If we shoot one electron or photon at a time to a double slit for a long time, interference pattern will build up on the other side. If the gap between each electron or photon is long enough that they ...
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### 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,  ...
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### Diffraction wavelength relationship [closed]

This question appears somewhat similar to other questions asking about why wavelength affects diffraction (a concept which I'm still not 100% sure on...) however my query is different and not answered ...
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### Are wave fronts in double-slit experiments moving forward? [closed]

I ask a question about "What is a wavefront?" which follows the question "What makes the radiation behind a slit coherent". For the wavefront it was answered, that "In electromagnetics ...(that are) ...
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### Slit width in single-slit diffraction

In Born's Atomic physics, he makes the comment on the single slit diffraction that For diffraction patterns to show themselves, it is necessary that the width of the slit employed should be of ...
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### Diffraction and waves

Sorry about my poorly worded question as i'm not to good at explaining but bare with me so here i go. Does sound come as straight lines like ||||| and become diffracted into curves when it passes ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...