Interference describes different waves superposing to form a resultant wave of greater, lower, or the same amplitude. Normally, it involves interaction of waves that are correlated (coherent) with each other, either because they come from the same source, or because they have the same or nearly the ...

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What are the lines visible between two cards held edge-to-edge?

Hold two cards (say credit cards) edge to edge, anything from a very slight touch to about 1/3 mm separation, in front of any ordinary light source. When I do this I see several fine dark parallel ...
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Can wifi signal reception be improved by opening a door? [closed]

Use Case A wifi user is in a different room than the router. The computer is having a hard time connecting and receiving the wifi signal. Engineering Question Can the wifi signal from the router to ...
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73 views

Interference and windows

The other day i was learning about interference patterns with the effect of a bubble making a rainbow on the surface. I learned that the reflections from both sides of the soap can interfere ...
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1answer
116 views

Michelson interferometer finding $\frac{\Delta \nu}{\bar \nu}$?

Let us say we send light with wavenumber $\bar \nu \pm \frac{\Delta \bar \nu}{2}$ through a Michelson Interferometer. Using the intensity at the center of the interference pattern $I(x)$ (where $x$ is ...
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Michelson interferometer interference pattern [duplicate]

My friend and I recently did an experiment on Lasers where we shot a laser beam through a Michelson interferometer and observed the interference pattern on the wall. Here is the basic setup: One ...
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1answer
570 views

Will overlapping two different beams of coherent light cause interference?

I have two laser beams with same polarization running parallel to each other. Will they interfere? If yes, then what are the conditions (perpendicular distance etc) and how can I observe the ...
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2answers
855 views

Does thin film interference (anti-reflective coating) let more light through?

The theory of an anti-reflective coating is that the reflected light off the coating and the reflected light off the substrate is 180 degrees out of phase, causing destructive interference and ...
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4answers
146 views

reproducing double-slit experiment with sunlight

Is it possible to reproduce Double-slit experiment at home with sunlight probably in a larger scale? Thanks for all the answers (and special thanks to Chris for the effort),so i understand that it ...
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148 views

How to check whether Schrödinger's cat was in superposition of states?

Suppose we can make an arbitrarily precise preparation of a Schrödinger's cat (and isolate it arbitrarily well so that decoherence is not a problem). If we prepare lots of cats in this state, what ...
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108 views

Is diffraction through an aperture similar to diffraction by a plane of atoms?

I'm asking because I have a problem asking me what the diffraction pattern would be if instead of spherical atoms I'd have triangular atoms. I can't find anything about this in my X-ray diffraction ...
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Young's double-slit experiment with detectors

Related: Accuracy of various optical instruments In many books, it's written that knowing which slit a photon passes through (by placing a detector before the slit) in a Young's double-slit setup ...
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3answers
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What is the Difference Between Quantum and Classical Interference

I was reading about Quantum decoherence and I came across this quote, "decoherence has irreversibly converted quantum behaviour (additive probability amplitudes) to classical behaviour (additive ...
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What is three-photon interference?

Whilst reading this paper on a quantum processor that performs a type of matrix computation, I came across the concept of 'three-photon interference'. A quick Google search shows that this process is ...
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What is the difference between diffraction and interference of light? [duplicate]

I know these two phenomena but I want to know a little deep explanation. What type of fringes are obtained in these phenomena?
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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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1answer
90 views

How far apart can the slits be in a double-slit experiment using direct sunlight?

In a normal double slit experiment, I'm told that sunlight doesn't produce a visible interference pattern because there is no stable phase relationship between the two slits. However, sunlight ...
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89 views

2-slit experiment

In the 2-slit experiment, is it possible to "account" for all of the energy in the incoming beam - i.e. does all of the incoming energy show up in the bright spots or is some of it "destroyed" when ...
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340 views

How to interpret single photon interference when the two possible paths are different in length?

Here is my question. I struggle with the definition of single photon interference. Let’s assume we have a Michelson interferometer and the interference pattern we observe is a single photon result, ...
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1answer
162 views

Covering centeremost slit of a N slit diffraction grating - what happens?

For an N-slit diffraction grating, the distance from a maxima to a minima at order p is given by $$\delta \theta = \frac{\lambda}{Np}$$ What happens to this width when the centremost $\frac{N}{2}$ ...
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How is the width of a slit related to the intensity of light passing through it?

Here's a question I got in my final exam this morning. "If in a Young's double slit experiment setup, the ratio of intensity of the bright spot to the dark spot is 25:9, what is the ratio of the width ...
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479 views

Do interference rings disappear in an interferometer if the path lengths are identical?

Consider a standard Michelson Interferometer (I took the picture from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interferometer) The incident beam is split into two parts, where the two parts travel on different ...
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2answers
73 views

Time-coherency of “incoherent” light

Even "incoherent" light as the one of a light bulb has some coherency, and would interfer in the double-slit experiment (even if more blurry because the different wavelengths don't trigger the same ...
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90 views

Wave interference

Visualizing the double slit experiment, there are light lines and dark lines. The dark lines I understand are caused by the interference cancelling waves. What I don't understand is where the energy ...
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Conservation of energy in interference of light

In interference of light, I know that energy is conserved globally but how the energy disappeared at minima appears at maxima? Is there any path by which energy flowed or is it just energy couldn't ...
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341 views

Probability wave speed of dispersion and interference

I'm a layperson learning about quantum mechanics and probability waves. My understanding is that the probability wave for the position of a particle disperses throughout all of the universe. I have ...
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1answer
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Why do I hear beats through headphones only at low frequencies?

I was recently playing with this Wolfram Demonstrations applet, which demonstrates beats. At first I thought the app didn't work because I couldn't hear any beats. Then I realized that the applet ...
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Introducing a phase, what changes?

This question is related to: Mach-Zehnder interferometer and the Fresnel-Arago laws Let us say we have unpolarised wave taking the form: $$\psi=\psi_0 e^{i(kx-\omega t)+i\phi(t)}$$ Where $\phi$ ...
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How do large interferometers work?

In very large Michelson interferometer a such as LIGO, how can we keep the two light paths at the exact same distance in order to avoid any unwanted and noisy fringes shift? When I used to make ...
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358 views

Fringe width and spacing and number of slits in diffraction experiments

In a single slit experiment, the fringes are not equally spaced and aren’t of equal widths—the central maximum is the widest, the secondary maxima grow narrower and narrower outward, and the minima ...
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1answer
157 views

Diffraction pattern without a slit

A few weeks ago, I aimed a laser at a wire perpendicular and interestingly, I saw the diffraction pattern, like the picture below: Why is this happening? I mean, I don't have any slits and I'm ...
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294 views

Shooting a single photon through a double slit

Consider the image below. It shows a double slit experiment but with a single photon at a time. My question is as follows: Why is it that the photons always take a different path when shot at the ...
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1answer
117 views

How can I easily explain interference to a tour group?

I'm looking for unique and illustrative ways to explain the phenomenon of interference to a tour group consisting of all types of people, from elementary school kids to adults. I run into this ...
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482 views

Double-slit expirement fundamentals (half-silvered mirror version)

In the double-slit experiment variation in which 2 half-silvered mirrors and 2 mirrors are used to illustrate the interference of a stream of photons or single photons at a given time step, how is it ...
3
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1answer
80 views

Describing quantum intereference with only currents and densities

I know about and believe to understand the general wave equation based Kirchhoff diffraction formula, which in the Fraunhofer limit leads to a farfield complex wave function by Fourier transforming ...
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1answer
78 views

Diffraction pattern in one continuous slit

Will a noticeable diffraction pattern appear if I use a single continuous slit, say a ring shaped one?If yes, can it be explained how the slits were paired for interference observations , and is there ...
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Creating complex interference figures with simple sources

3D printers that use Stereolithography usually have to build a 3D object layer by layer, each layer being constructed by having a laser travel across the surface until it has hardened all the layer's ...
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Mechanical pulse reflection

When we have a rope with one fixed end and we send a pulse through it, the reflected pulse is inverted. My question is as follows - is it correct to say that near the end (when the pulse hits the ...
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2answers
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White light diffraction

I have a hard time understanding why light waves of different wavelengths diffract in a different manner. According to Huygens' principle, every point on the wavefront is a source of a secondary wave. ...
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1answer
596 views

Single photon interference experiment

In short: the question is, does the length of the path affect the outcome of detecting a photon? Consider the single photon beam splitter experiment. Does the probability of detecting the photon ...
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1answer
27 views

Can interference occur between two waves that are parallel but separated by a small distance?

This is a image of diffraction in crystal. My doubt is how the parallel waves coming out interfere if they are seperate?
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61 views

Loss of interference in single-photon Mach–Zehnder interferometer with detector in only one arm

I have read that if you have a Mach–Zehnder interferometer (doing a single-photon experiment) and put a non-destructive detector in only one of the two arms (connected to the first beam splitter), you ...
3
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1answer
447 views

Why doesn't a backward wave exist? [duplicate]

Huygens principle says every point of wavefront emit wavelet in all directions. Then why does a back ward wave not exist? Can any expert tell real answer? On different sites I get different and ...
3
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1answer
53 views

Interference of light in a dielectric mirror

Here it is mentioned that for dielectric mirrors (mirrors designed to reflect a specific wavelength of light) "there is a 180-degree difference in phase shift at a low-to-high index boundary, compared ...
3
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0answers
81 views

Thickness of thin-film interference [closed]

A thin film of alcohol ($n = 1.36$) lies on a flat glass plate ($n = 1.51$). When monochromatic light, whose wavelength can be changed, is incident normally, the intensity of the reflected light is a ...
3
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0answers
55 views

Fastest path of light [duplicate]

Fermat's principle of least time says that light always takes the fastest path to any point. So how can light know which is the fastest path without taking all the paths first?
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3answers
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Can two single particles interfere with each other?

Groups of particles can interfere with one another; In the double slit experiment when measuring single photons at the screen each one arrives at the screen in a random manner and they only show the ...
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0answers
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Questions about Michelson interferometer

I have been doing experiment on Michelson experiment, but I don't quite understand why white light results in an interferogram with very few fringes, and why are they necessarily Gaussian? I know that ...
3
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2answers
214 views

Period of double slit experiment

What is the period of the pattern from the double slit experiment? It varies along the pattern right? Namely I'm confused because when considering two point sources (See: Period of Interference ...
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2answers
500 views

A question on intereference experiment with water waves as given in the Feynman Lectures on Physics

I have a question related to the interference (thought)experiment with water waves given in the book Feynman Lectures on Physics Vol.3. When only one hole (hole 1) is open the measured wave intensity ...
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3answers
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What does the differential of $d_s\sin(\theta) = m\lambda$ help us see, with respect to waves through diffraction gratings?

With respect to waves traveling through a diffraction grating, we have an equation like this one: $$d_s\sin(\theta) = m\lambda.$$ Where $d_s$ is the distance between slits in the grating, $\theta$ is ...