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35
votes
10answers
7k views

What happens to the energy when waves perfectly cancel each other?

What happens to the energy when waves perfectly cancel each other (destructive interference)? It appears that the energy "disappear" but the law of conservation of energy states that it can't be ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Interference of polarized light

Does polarized light interfere?
5
votes
3answers
610 views

Recently publicized experiment on destructive interference between two laser beams

Recently I've had several non-physicist friends ask me, independently of each other, about an experiment where two collinear laser beams destructively interfere along a certain length. Everybody wants ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is coherent light required for interference in Young's double slit experiment?

In this Veritasium video, a home experiment is presented which appears to produce a very good double-slit interference pattern with normal sunlight. The experiment is an empty cardboard box with a ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Period of Interference Pattern on a Substrate

Can anybody explain to me where this equation came from? It's for two point sources at the two listed points, and it's calculating the period of the wave on the substrate. It seems to be ...
79
votes
6answers
6k views

Stupid yet tricky question: Why do we actually see the sun?

I haven't yet gotten a good answer to this: If you have two rays of light of the same wavelength and polarization (just to make it simple for now, but it easily generalizes to any range and all ...
23
votes
5answers
3k views

Does a photon interfere only with itself?

I sometimes hear statements like that: Quantum-mechanically, interference pattern occurs due to quantum interference of wavefunction of a photon. Wavefunction of a single photon only interferes ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

How come an anti-reflective coating makes glass *more* transparent?

The book I'm reading about optics says that an anti-reflective film applied on glass* makes the glass more transparent, because the air→film and film→glass reflected waves (originated from a paraxial ...
2
votes
2answers
143 views

is a single photon a wave? Is it a wave packet?

How could it split and interfere? How could a wave packet, with many frequencies, be a photon with one freq.? Thank you very much.
3
votes
2answers
292 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Purple doesn't occur in rainbow - or does it?

Usually, when asked whether the purple color exists rainbows, an answer similar to this is given: The purple color is perceived by human eyes via the activation of both red-sensitive and ...
11
votes
5answers
845 views

Double slit experiment near event horizon

What happens if you perform a double slit experiment near an event horizon, if one of the slits is outside, one is inside the event horizon?
6
votes
3answers
166 views

Fully destructive interference

I'm aware that this is somewhat of a frequently asked question (not only here), and i've dug through respective answer for a few hours before i decided to ask here. None of those answers helped me ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Where does energy go in destructive interference? [duplicate]

I have read that when two light waves interfere destructively, the energy contained within is transferred to other parts of the wave which have interfered constructively. However, I am having some ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to calculate the intensity of the interference of two waves in a given point?

There are two different point sources which produce spherical waves with the same power, amplitude, ω, wavenumber and phase. I can calculate the intensity of each wave in a point: $$ I_1 = P / (4 ...
4
votes
2answers
75 views

Wave or particle in the end

In Young's double slit experiment I put a convex lens after double slit and direct interference pattern on to a fibre. Then I expose the other end of fibre to a screen. What will I observe - the ...
2
votes
2answers
61 views

How fast is wave propagation in interference?

When someone performs Young's Double Slit experiment, the person sees an interference pattern on the screen. What is the time taken to for the pattern to appear on the screen? Is it distance between ...
1
vote
3answers
47 views

Young double slit experiment without first slit

What if I take a laser pen and direct it towards the middle of two wide slits? Will I get interference pattern or just two lines? Do I need to scatter photons before they hit the slits to observe ...
1
vote
3answers
127 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
335 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 ...