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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Double Slit -> $N$-Slit: Does Which-Way Information change in terms of number of bits?

Suppose an electron is fired through a double slit. We all agree that the electron is now non-deterministic, and will arrive at its destination in a single spot, but it will have travelled there as a ...
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How can photons destructively interfere?

This is a concept I don't fully understand. If I have two photons each with frequency $\nu$, then they each have an energy of $E = h\nu$. If they get matched with an inverted phase, then the summed ...
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Waves interference in terms of fields and intensity

let's suppose that two electromagnetic waves (let's focus for instance on their electric fields) with same amplitude A and frequency, but with a difference $\Delta\Phi$: $$E_{1}=A\cdot \sin\left(kz-\...
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How does light look like when it is 180° out of phase? [closed]

When two lights are 180° out of phase, would it look like this? In the photo below, the left side is flipped and it is a mirror image.
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How is Electromagnetically-Induced Transparency a result of "destructive quantum interference between two pathways"?

It has been described that Electromagnetically-Induced Transparency (EIT) is a result of "destructive quantum interference between two pathways." To quote from this source: In these simple ...
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Why is the phase difference an "odd number of half-wavelengths" when two waves interfere destructively? [duplicate]

Excerpt from the Feynman Lectures, Volume III, Quantum Behavior (emphasis mine): At those places where the two waves arrive at the detector with a phase difference of π (where they are "out of ...
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Are two waves out of phase only when the phase difference is $\pi$?

Excerpt from the Feynman Lectures, Volume III, Quantum Behavior: At those places where the two waves arrive at the detector with a phase difference of $\pi$ (where they are “out of phase”) the ...
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Where does the energy vanish in wave interference? [duplicate]

In my physics textbook there is a chapter on waves. Now there is a topic on interference. I don't understand why I get additional energy there. Suppose two waves presented as $Y_1=3\sin(\omega t)$ and ...
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When will iridescence only happen when seen through a mirror-like surface?

The phenomenon is: A semi-opaque semi-rigid plastic sheet covers a window, if you see the sheet directly from any direction, there is no iridescence on the sheet. But if you see the sheet through a ...
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Two different beams of same frequency light passed through the double slit

We all know that when one beam of discrete frequency passes through the double slit makes an interference pattern. What is interesting to me is that in that case the beams which diffuse from the slits ...
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Multiple-Slit Interference Clarification

Source: https://openstax.org/books/university-physics-volume-3/pages/3-3-multiple-slit-interference $dsin(\theta) = m \lambda$ (1) where $d \mbox{= spacing between slits}$ $\theta \mbox{= ...
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Heterodyne interferometry, an alternative?

I am trying to setup an interferometer to monitor displacements and tilts between two surfaces. I am quite struggling because I never studied optics deeply. I have found in this paper (https://...
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What is the nature of the interference patterns inside the ice?

Recently saw some interesting optical effects inside/under the ice on the frozen pool which I never noticed before. Looks pretty much like thin-film interference patterns to me. A quick search did not ...
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What does it mean for a light to have low-coherence?

I've been searching about OCT imaging and understood that it is based on low-coherence light source. The problem is, I don't understand what is a low-coherence light source. Based on what points that ...
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What is the difference between interference patterns and fringes?

High school/ Higher Secondary School standard QA It is obtained from Wikipedia, A simple form of interference pattern is obtained if two plane waves of the same frequency intersect at an angle. ...
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Do we take into account the physical angle between Electric fields and Magnetic fields during interference of light?

I have been studying interference of light waves for a while now and I have a doubt. I have never seen any sources (books, internet , teachers) ever take into consideration about the "actual"...
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If single photon interference can form Newton's rings

I wonder if anyone knows if any experiment has been done using single-photon interference to form fringe by air wedge, such as Newton's rings. The air wedge could be formed between two flat glass ...
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Thin film interference with bottom medium denser

When we consider the interference of light through a thin film of water or a glass slab, light gets reflected at both air-water and water-glass interface. Correspondingly, there is an extra phase ...
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How to calculate frequency in speaker-microphone scenario like this? [closed]

We have a speaker and microphone, distance between them is 10 meters. They are both on 1 meter distance from sound-reflecting wall. Velocity of voice is 340 m/s. It is observed that microphone does ...
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399 views

Destructive interference

Take the most simple academic example for interference. Since it is not any real experiment, one can have shocking contradictions. For example: 2 monochromatic plane waves with (parallel) amplitudes ...
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Are two lights waves that are out of phase mirror images?

Is light shifted 180 degrees out of phase, when it is reflected off a mirror? When light is shifted 180 degrees out of phase, is it the mirror image of the light wave?
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Standing waves on string

I am a high school student and I am a little confused about standing waves on string, My confusion is that: we know ,A standing wave is formed by the interference of reflected wave and incident wave ...
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Can a spectrometer detect interference pattern?

I am not sure whether this is the correct place to ask, otherwise, please point me to the appropriate platform. I have been reading about fibre optic interferometric sensors and notice that most ...
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Why don't photons interfere/interact with one another, as common mechanical waves would?

After all, they are a (self-sustaining) perturbation of the same field, like sound waves or water waves are "energy flow" (except these ones experience dissipation). And how can our eyes be ...
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What happens when light of two different colours interfere destructively?

In one of my lab courses, we are using an interferometer. I can understand how the interference works when it comes to monochromatic light, but for white light, I am unable to picture how the ...
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Young slit conundrum - Finding positions of maxima when one of the slits emanates light with phase difference

Second guessing myself a bit here, but I've run into a bit of an issue. The problem I'm trying to solve is this: Coherent light of $532nm$ is passing through a double slit, which are separated by $25\...
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Can two perpendicular beams cancel each other out?

This question is related to the Michelson-Morley experiment. See below an illustration of the setup: When looking at this image, I am wondering where and how exactly the interference occurs. Is it ...
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Relation between slit width and intensity of light in Young's double slit experiment [duplicate]

In some places , it says slit width is directly proportional to intensity while in other places intensity is directly proportional to (slit width)² .
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All the information (photons) within a unit cube of space [closed]

So here is a thought, lets fix a cube of side 1cm, it contains light passing through it from all possible angles, be it stars or insect. If we change our angle of view we can see different objects due ...
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Electron interference

As I have understood, as per QM, electrons could behave as waves in a double slit experiment, i.e. form dark and bright bands, albeit after sufficient electrons have been shot from the source. Also, I ...
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Probability density in double slit experiment

I don't understand why the probability density in the double slit experiment in the case of both slits opened, has a minimum corresponding to the maximum of intensity. Shouldn't $P_{12}$ have the same ...
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Is “reflecting back” an intrinsic property of water waves?

I have come across an interesting answer here on Physics SE which states that you get standing waves when you throw a rock in a lake, because of an “intrinsic property” of even dimensional waves. “(......
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Huygens' principle: Its correct interpretation, and why there is no destructive interference in every wave? (unsatisfied with current answers)

My understanding of Huygens' principle is, that it describes the way how a wave moves: Instead of moving straightforward, it propagates in all directions via producing secondary wavelets. 'Secondary ...
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Non-quantum explanation for Mach-Zehnder interferometer effect

The phenomenon of all photons being detected at only one detector seems quite reasonable to me, classically. If a photon gets deflected at the first beam splitter for whatever reason, it gets ...
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Superposition of Microwaves experiment? How does it work?

Please can someone help me out with this experiment and see if this is correct? So the experiment consists of one metal sheet that fully reflects microwaves (and is fixed in its position), and the ...
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Interference : the cause of current

The wave nature of electrons was proved in the Davisson and Germer experiment since the Galvanometer they used showed a sudden peak in the value of current. Now I have some doubts regarding this. 1 : ...
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Why does small angle approximation work for Young's double slit and not for single/multiple slits?

I understand that for a double slit experiment the equation is $\lambda=xd/L$, which has come from the small angle approximation of $d\sin\theta = n\lambda$ by assuming that $\sin\theta = (x/L)$ and ...
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If a photon truly goes through both slits, then why can't it make two dots (excite two atoms) in the screen? [duplicate]

There are a lot of questions on this site about the double slit experiment, none of them answer my question specifically. I am not asking about detection or detectors or anything just at the slit. My ...
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1answer
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Why does a rainbow pattern appear, in a picture I took with my mobile in the mirror with flash?

I took a picture in the mirror with a flash (and in a flash). This was the result: After a comment made below by @SuperfastJellyfish (indeed widening occurs), I made another picture (this time in the ...
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Phase difference between electrons emitted from a photoelectric setup of Cs

I read that electrons being emitted from a Cs plate when irradiated with photons with energy greater than work function of Cs, are used in a double slit experiment. But, should they not have varying ...
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Why is the diffraction pattern like the interference pattern as opposed to a smooth band?

Why are diffraction patterns similar to interference patterns? I understand interference patterns but I can't wrap my head around as to why the diffraction pattern would be similar? Does diffraction ...
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Is it possible for an interference pattern to appear while experimenting with entangled photons? [closed]

An specialist in quantum information asserted that "entangled photons will never show an interference pattern", but that seems to contradict the response to another question I made here. He ...
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Interference and Fermat's principle

Fermat's principle states that light always takes the path for which the optical length is stationary. \begin{align} \delta\int n(\vec{r}) \:\mathrm ds = 0. \end{align} Furthermore, it is equivalent ...
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Should two laser pointers always shine a point on the screen with same intensity? [duplicate]

Lasers are coherent beams so they can be totaly cancelled out if applied a source out of phase of 180 degrees. So the question is simple... do two different coherent lasers of same luminosity when ...
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How does an electron move around as a wave in orbitals?

This question arose when I was told that there were positive and negative lobes in an orbital. I wanted to know on what basis this was proposed and hence I searched it on web and found out that it ...
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Is the universal wavefunction globally coherent?

In Wikipedia's article on quantum decoherence, it states that despite decoherence creating the appearance of wavefunction collapse, A total superposition of the global or universal wavefunction still ...
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Double slit experiment: Single photons of red light mixed with high intensity infrared light

First this is only a presumtion. Let say we fire single photons of red light at the double slit to get a interference pattern on the screen. The distances between frindges would have certain ...
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Is it possible to register the effects of sound interference in everyday settings? [closed]

For example, sound interference could lead to a loud room feeling louder simply because of sound waves colliding. Or an orchestra which is perfectly synchronized could create loud and quiet spots in ...
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Help understanding sound wave interference from two sources as a function of distance and frequency

I am trying to optimize the acoustics of a room in my house for music listening. I use a computer that runs a free app called, REW (room Equalization Wizard) . This app can play a test noise through ...
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2answers
221 views

Why are sonic booms produced when the speed of a sound source is HIGHER than the speed of sound?

I was recently reading about sonic booms and learned that when the speed of source is greater than or equal to the speed of sound in the medium, then a sonic boom is produced. However, I could only ...

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