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Unformatted text preview: examination of a shadow under a bright source will reveal that it is made up of finely spaced bright and dark regions. In this case, light appears not to be propagating in a straight line; the obstacle alters the amplitude or phase of the light waves such that the regions of the wavefront that propagate beyond the obstacle will interfere with each other. It is crucial to remember that there is no physical difference between interference and diffraction. In general interference concerns situations where only a few waves are interfering, while diffraction concerns a large number of interfering waves. This distinction is arbitrary. Diffraction occurs with other sorts of waves too. Water waves or sound waves, for example spread out after they go through a narrow aperture, or bend into the 'shadow' region behind an obstacle. Figure %: Diffraction of water waves....
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- Fall '10
- Physics, Wavelength, Michelson interferometer