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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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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Light interference maximum and minimum intensity points

This is a very basic question, but I just forgot how to solve this. It's classical physics question. Suppose that there are two light sources. And some place away exists a screen. How do I find ...
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Can electrons change the frequency of light as they bounce off/around?

I know that light does not interact with other light, but can interfere it, at least its amplitude. With that said, lights frequency can be changed via bouncing off matter, where matter might absorb ...
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How Light or Water Intensity is equal to square modulus of wave function of Light or Water Waves $I=|\psi|^2 \,$?

I've seen the Wave Function as a psi $\Psi$ $\psi$. And always heard that the wave function is the Complex Number as Imaginary and real number. But I've never seen it I've never seen components of ...
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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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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 ...
864 views

Which is the biggest object which can interfere with itself?

I've heard that scientist proof that viruses of the Tobacco mosaic virus could interfere with themselves. I'm referring to quantum interference-- the same as photons. Unfortunately, I couldn't find ...
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Are two polarization states of light coherent?

Let's consider a situation: we have distant point source of unpolarized light in certain non-zero range of wavelengths (it's polychromatic). Let's divide this light into 2 beams depending on ...
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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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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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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 ...
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Why does light in a room not form constructive and destructive interference patterns?

This is something that I have wondered for a long time. How come when I walk around why do I not see random black spots where light has collided destructively and bright spots where it has collided ...
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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 ...
335 views

Two paths having the same phase in the path integral approach

In the path integral approach to Quantum Mechanics, can two distinctly different paths of the possible infinite paths have the same phase, i.e can there be a bimodal distribution of the phases ...
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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 airāfilm and filmāglass reflected waves (originated from a paraxial ...
10k views

Why don't waves with different wavelengths interfere with each other in white-light?

The book I'm reading about optics says at some point that "each color (wavelength) contained in the white light interferes only with itself". But why is this so? Edit: I moved the rest of the ...
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Understanding the cause of sidebands in Amplitude Modulation

I've read it many places that Amplitude Modulation produces sidebands in the frequency domain. But as best as I can imagine it, modulating the amplitude of a fixed-frequency carrier wave just makes ...
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Wave diffraction explanation [closed]

I'm trying to understand wave diffraction and I found this wikipedia article. It's in Czech so I'll explain a bit. I'm interested in the 4 images I couldn't find on english wikipedia. The first one is ...
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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 ...
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Energy conservation and interference

I have a problem with energy conservation in case of interfering waves. Imagine two harmonic waves with amplitudes $A$. They both carry energy that is proportional to $A^2$, so the total energy is ...
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Double-slit experiment with alternating on-off switch

Suppose we perform a double-slit experiment with a detector placed at a position of minimum intensity (maximum destructive interference), off-center where the path lengths differ by half a wavelength. ...
304 views

Double slit experiment and perforated walls' properties

I have a doubt about how double slit experiment is made. Let's think about the perforated wall, what are the requirement for it? Can a photographic plate could be used as a wall ? I see a problem ...
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What's inside the slit in double slit experiment?

If double slit experiment is done in a environment with air, then slits could also contain air made up of (approx. 80% nitrogen, 20% oxygen), then there is not empty space inside the slit. How can it ...
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Does a photon interfere only with itself?

I sometimes hear statements like: Quantum-mechanically, an interference pattern occurs due to quantum interference of the wavefunction of a photon. The wavefunction of a single photon only ...
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Find drop-off rate of magnetic interference from a mass of pure iron on a magnetic compass

How can I find the magnetic interference a stationary 35000 kg block of 100% pure iron would have on a magnetic compass and what the drop off rate of the interference would be. So if said 35000 kg ...
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Interference of polarized light

Does polarized light interfere?
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Newton's rings: What causes the other rings?

This is from an experiment we did in physics class. We shone a sodium light at a convex lens on top of a sheet of glass - and this image was captured by a USB microscope. I know what causes the main ...