Questions tagged [interference]

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 same frequency. Interference effects can be observed with all types of waves, e.g., light, radio, acoustic, surface, or matter waves.

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Spherical Plane Wave Interference

I would like to ask this following question. In the picture below we have a spherical and plane wave. For the plane wave we have the angle between k and the x axis, that is θ. I would like to know ...
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Is there any real world “double slit experiment” where the which-path measurement made?

I am not a physicist, but a fan of physics. I found many videos on YouTube which explain the "double slit experiment" but most of them use animation and that is OK. When I search for any ...
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Why is the central maximum white when white light passes through a diffraction grating?

I can't see how path difference and central maximum (where path difference is 0) work when there are more than 2 wave sources. When a beam of white light passing through a diffraction grating, it is ...
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Question about DIY Quantum Computer Prototype [closed]

I recently came across these 2 videos on Coursera which show how to build a simple quantum computer that can implement the simplest case of the Deutsch-Jozsa algorithm (which uses only 2 qubits). ...
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Why does peak wavelength decrease with angle of incidence in thin-films?

I'm trying to understand intuitively why the peak reflected light from a thin-film decreases in wavelength with increasing angles. To me, it seems it should be the opposite. I know the peak ...
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How do electrons divide?

Electrons show a banded distribution at the end of a double-slit experiment set-up. This banded pattern shows that wave interference prevents many electrons from reaching areas where probability is ...
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Why should the light source be bigger in division of amplitude than the slit in division of wavefront?

In a textbook I read the following (emphasis added): Division of amplitude is a method of achieving interference using two waves that have come from the same point on a wavefront. Each wave has a ...
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If two black holes about to collide head on, will there be interference pattern in the space in between?

Imagine massive object such as 2 non spinning blackholes accelerate towards each other, just before they collides I wonder what would the region of space in between them would look like? Will it be ...
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Is the EM solar radiation really chaotic?

I have a doubt regarding to this answer. On one hand it seems perfectly reasonable to think that the EM radiation from the sun is the result of the chaotic accelerated movement of a lot of charged ...
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How to explain interference of light by Huygens' principle? [duplicate]

there was an almost the same question here, but there was no appropriate answer(the answer there was incomplete and not to the point). now there is an updated answer to the question.
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Can a photon in a optic fiber interfere with itself destructively?

In Young double slit experiment the photons interfere with themselves destructively and constructively. So when there is an optic fiber with a mirror end the photon should return back and one can ...
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Why does fringe width in double slit experiment remain constant if slits get narrower?

The fringe width produced on a screen remains constant as the two double slits get narrower, but you are able to see more fringes on screen. I don't understand why the fringe width would remain at the ...
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Etalon Produces Odd Interference Pattern

The other day I created an optical cavity with a first surface mirror and a beam splitter. Here’s a pic of the interference. Has anyone seen something like this. Is it common?
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Why do peaks and troughs of a wave cancel each other out? And why peaks and peaks or troughs and troughs add up?

I have thought that the cancellation of peaks and troughs is a consequence of Newton's third law of motion that equal and opposite forces cancel each other out. Or it has something to do with ...
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Which are the rays that form the fringes in wedge shaped film and Newton's rings?

While reading interference by the division of amplitude, I came across this doubt. Different sources seem to hint towards different answers. First, in wedge-shaped film, in the book Optics by Ajoy ...
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Can two weak coherent EM beams arriving from different positions cancel out at a meeting point?

If two weak EM beams consist of waves with an irregular distribution of light quanta does it mean that if that photons are not uniformly distributed in a wave regarding the time when they arrive and ...
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Do reflected and incident rays interfere?

I have a very simple question about incident an reflected waves. Consider for instance an incident light ray on an interface between two different materials. We know that there will be a reflected ...
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What happens to the uncertainty principle if

I just read the Feynman Lectures about the electron gun experiment with two holes in the middle wall. It demonstrates that if we don't look at the electrons while they travel toward the detector ...
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Why alternate maxima and minima are not observable in water waves diffraction?

Below is the result of a single-slit experiment of light. Alternate bright and dark fringes can be observed, where they represent the maxima and minima caused by constructive and destructive ...
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Interference patterns and visible light

If I had two coherent point sources of visible light, above a piece of paper maybe, would you expect to see an interference pattern? Then, if one had a slight shift in phase, would you then expect to ...
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Can we use quantum physics to detect life outside our planet? [closed]

I was watching a video about "delayed choice quantum eraser experiment", it shows how our knowledge about the system can change past events if they have not been measured yet. I would like to ask ...
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Why is the formula for diffraction gratings not the same as for a double-slit diffraction formula?

I understand how to derive the formula for diffraction gratings as you just have to compare the light rays approaching at a maxima point. The formula for diffraction grating formula is shown below : $$...
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How to calculate Doppler Shift for multipaths from moving objects?

Let's say we have a radar where the transmitter and receiver are placed together, and form an angle theta with a target object moving with velocity ...
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Why can the source of light affect the occurrence of thin film interference?

The article I was reading states that one factor affecting the occurrence of thin-film interference is the light source. The quality of the light reflecting off a film can impact the amount of ...
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Why is there interference in double slit experiment when there are many out of phase photons concurrently?

I understand how interference can arise when we start with a coherent light source where all the photons emitted are in phase. As they traverse the double slit, the distances to the screen from each ...
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Can you create a stationary/standing wave with two vibrating sources?

In most textbooks, a typical formation of a stationary wave is from a vibrating source in a medium that has a closed-end on the other side. In which the reflected wave will be coherent, with the same ...
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Young's double slit experiment and obliquity factor [duplicate]

Why don't we consider obliquity factor in light coming from the slits ?
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Total Destructive Interference [duplicate]

In the total destructive interference of a wave, the peak of one wave, perfectly aligns with the trough of another wave (assuming they have the exact same amplitude and phase), causing the waves to ...
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Fabry-Perot Interferometer

let's consider a Fabry-Perot interferometer: Illumination is provided by a diffuse source, and its rays are focused towards the cavity by a lens. Inside the cavity there are multiple reflections and ...
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Will the Airy pattern be preserved for high numerical aperture lens?

All we know that a lens focuses a plane wave into an Airy pattern distribution. However, what if the numerical aperture ($NA$) will be very high, like more than $0.99$ (in the air) or with focusing ...
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Why is a filament lamp an incoherent light source?

I've tried to search for this answer but found no proper explanation. My previous ideas were... 1) It is not a point source, so the different points on a filament lamp may cancel out the light from ...
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How coherent light is created for single slit experiment?

This is a diagram showing the single slit interference set up: The pinhole (or 'peep hole') is said to 'produce a parallel beam of coherent light, because the time interval between light passing ...
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Net intensity for interference from incoherent sources

Why do we simply add the intensities for interference from two incoherent sources? What's the proof for that? I know that incoherent means that their phase difference changes with time
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What is the plane of polarisation of light in YDSE?

I have heard that only polarised light give the interference fringes which are observable. But while doing Young's double slit experiment (YDSE) there is no polariser used, so how the light coming out ...
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Delayed choice quantum eraser experiment involving light and polarization filters

I read a post about trying Young's double slit experiment at home, and the first comment suggested a DIY delayed choice quantum eraser experiment. In the video, they use two polarization filters on ...
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In double slit diffraction, why does the intensity profile not change w.r.t. distance from the slit if is a collimating lens fixed in between them?

As far as I know, with respect to double slit interference, the distance $y_m$ measured along the screen from the central point to the m-th bright fringe is related to the distance $L$ from the slits ...
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Why there is a division of amplitude in single slit diffraction and not in N slit diffraction?

I was going through derivation of intensity in diffraction there it was written at each point a new wavelet will be genrated(that is clear to me huygen's theory) of amplitude $(E_o)/N$ where $E_o$ is ...
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Single Slit Diffraction issue with derivation

When deriving the minima, the classical approach is to say $$ \frac d 2 \sin(\theta) = \frac{\lambda}2$$ therefore, $$d \sin(\theta) = \lambda$$ It can then be shown for any integer value of $\...
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Why will the interference average out?

In Feynman Lectures Vol.1, in discussing the cases where the effect of interference of light in negligible, it is stated that: Another case in which the interference averages out is that in which, ...
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Does the double slit interference pattern depend upon probability?

If the interference pattern depends upon the probability of the particles travelling through the slit then the intensity at any point on the graph must not be zero. But graphs show that the intensity ...
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What is happening on the screen as you reduce the slit width? How can you demonstrate that mathematically? [closed]

I think in the case of a single slit, as you reduce the slit width the central peak decreases. The width decreases the amount of light entering the slit actually decreases,so when the area under the ...
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Does a Michelson pattern have a maximum radius?

I'm studying the Michelson interferometer interference pattern and we have arrived in class - using some aproximations - to some expressions which state a relationship between the radius of the ...
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Why is the double slit interference intensity modulated by single slit intensity?

I am a high school student. I understand that the pattern of the intensity for double-slit interference is packaged within the intensity pattern for single slit interference because the slit width, in ...
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Intuitive explanation for why central fringe in twice the width of others in single slit experiment?

I've seen other answers on stack exchange for this question, but none of them seem to give an intuitive explanation. Is there an explanation that takes a more intuitive approach (if possible, not ...
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Intuitive explanation for why reflected waves change phase by $π$? [duplicate]

I have seen the equations that show the coefficient of reflection etc. But I'm searching for an intuitive rather than solely mathematical explanation for why waves change phase by π when reflected (...
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Does an interferometer add or multiply together signals? Is it either?

I'm studying honours physics right now and have to get an understanding of interferometers, specifically in the context of astronomy and interferometer telescope arrays. However, I'm having some ...
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In phase contrast microscopy, how does the phase difference between the diffracted light and the background light come to be?

Phase contrast microscopy works by exploiting the phase difference between two paths of light which pass through a probe point of a specimen: One path, the "background" path, is the path the light ...
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Diffraction pattern from a controlled single-slit experiment

I'm returning to the old thought experiemnt of a controlled electron beam pointing at one or two slits. By controlled I mean that the electrons are released with sufficient time between firings that ...
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what will be more appropriate to consider sound wave as a pressure wave or displacement wave

I was reading waves from H.C. Verma in which it was written when two sound sources vibrate in unison then at mid point between the sources a pressure antinode is produced but a displacement node . ...
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Why is the intensity function of $N$-slits interference symmetric?

I'm taking a course of quantum physics and we were asked to plot the intensity function of interference between the waves which exit 20 slits, when the distance between the slits is given by $$ d+A\...

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