interference

“Interference is the superposition of two or more waves resulting in a new wave pattern. As most commonly used, the term usually refers to the interference of waves which are correlated or coherent with each other, either because they come from the same source or because they have the same or nearly the same frequency. Two non-monochromatic waves are only fully coherent with each other if they both have exactly the same range of wavelengths and the same phase differences at each of the constituent wavelengths.

The principle of superposition of waves states that the resultant displacement at a point is equal to the sum of the displacements of different waves at that point. If a crest of a wave meets a crest of another wave at the same point then the crests interfere constructively and the resultant wave amplitude is greater. If a crest of a wave meets a trough of another wave then they interfere destructively, and the overall amplitude is decreased.” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interference

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