# How do radiowaves have constructive/destructive interference?

When you have radios you often find interference happening. As far as I am personally aware radio waves are the only waves that I am sure can interfere. If all EM apply do put it in that perspective in your answer. The thing that I can't wrap my head around is the fact that although the photons have no size and are just points, how can they overlap to interfere with another. It's like two entities in a game with no hitboxes colliding with each other.

• Roughly speaking, light moves like a wave and interacts like a particle. If you want to be more accurate then you need to model it as a quantum field. Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 6:52

It is not that radio waves are the only waves that can interfere. Other EM waves, such as lights, interfere too. Try to recall Newton's ring, and colors on a soap bubble from high school optics courses. Sound waves, water surface ripples interfere too.

To best understand EM wave interference, you think in waves, not in photons. If you definitely have to think in photons, think of "wave function of particles" and the statistical interpretation of wave function collapse, as people have done.

EM waves travel in the EM field which is a theoretical field that fills all space. Like waves in a pond they can overlap or superimpose or interfere or convolute or add together etc etc. its all the same terminology. Particles smash into one another and waves just pass each other by, example : 2 waves adding in collision will make a bigger wave only temporarily but then the waves will continue on travelling in each their own direction.

• So you're suggesting waves have volume?
– yolo
Commented Sep 5, 2018 at 20:03
• Absolutely, think of a tsunami! You can have a strong radio wave made of many many photons. You can also have a single blue photon which takes up less space that a red one (longer wavelength). Commented Sep 5, 2018 at 20:52
• @yolo I see you changed your pick. You asked a question about Photons and I was the only one who answered about photons. No one else really answered the question and resorted to the same unexplainable and unaccountable wave attempt. Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 7:11
• I asked the question in photons because I made the assumption you did. The answers here are rather contradictory. While I understand that what you said makes literal sense it seems as though many have disagreed. Now It won't do much work for me, could you ease them in order to ease me at your answer.
– yolo
Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 16:25
• And Physics Dave. If you say waves do have a volume. How much volume do they have after having travelled a centimetre
– yolo
Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 16:26

all EM waves are capable of interference. in the specific case of radio waves, the most convenient way to work with them is not by using the photon model, but instead the wave model. this is entirely appropriate for EM waves with long wavelengths and makes them easier to grasp and understand, especially when dealing with things like reflection off of objects (as in radar) and the effects of multipath transmission (as in radio transmission at 1 to 100 megahertz).

• You haven't answered the question. How can they overlap with each other to interfere since they have no size?
– yolo
Commented Sep 5, 2018 at 16:46
• He did, because you think of them as waves instead which have a definite size Commented Sep 5, 2018 at 17:02
• Light waves don't have a size, they can't even be physically explained. All phenomena is best explained with photon particles. Commented Sep 5, 2018 at 17:15
• EM waves travel in the EM field which is a theoretical field that fills all space. Like waves in a pond they can overlap or superimpose or interfere or convolute or add together etc etc. its all the same terminology. Particles smash into one another and waves just pass each other by, example : 2 waves adding in collision will make a bigger wave only temporarily but then the waves will continue on travelling in each their own direction. Commented Sep 5, 2018 at 19:01