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I understand why a CD\DVD works as a reflective transmission grating; the laser beam reflects completely from land and interferes destructively when reflected from a pit, therefore the tracks on a CD can be seen as a diffraction grating.

However, when transmitted through the clear plastic part of the CD (which contains the pits and lands but not the reflecting surface), why can the tracks be seen as a diffraction grating? is it because the beam gets scattered from pits, or somehow interferes destructively on transmission too?

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This is comparable to an grating showing interference in transmission. If Bragg's condition is fulfilled (depending on wavelength, view angle and line distance in the grating) constructive interference can be achieved.

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