ch18 - The Big Ideas-Chapter 18(Serway and Beichner Physics...

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The Big Ideas—Chapter 18 (Serway and Beichner, Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 5 th Edition) AJM:2/5/01 1 Sections 1 Sinusoidal waves of the same frequency interfere in a manner that depends on their phase difference. When that phase difference is zero, we say the waves are “in phase” and they interfere “constructively” to form a wave whose amplitude is the sum of the amplitudes of the constituent waves. When that phase difference is 180 ° , we say the waves are “out of phase” and they interfere “destructively” to form a wave whose amplitude is the difference of the amplitudes of the constituent waves. The phase difference is often directly the result of a difference in the distances (the “path difference”) to two sources or along two paths to the same source. φ = 2 π r λ Section 2 When two waves of the same amplitude and frequency traveling in opposite directions interfere, the result is a standing wave.
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