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Area of Expertise - optics
Interference is the superposition of waves. The intensities that occur depend on the phase difference of the waves. The phase differences must not change during the observation time.
Two waves with a phase difference can strengthen or weaken. Destructive interference occurs when both waves cancel each other out, i.e. when the maximum of one wave meets the minimum of the other. In this case the phase difference is what a distance of corresponds to by which the two interfering waves are shifted from one another.
Learning units in which the term is discussed
Double slit tests60 min.
This learning unit is about getting to know interference as an important characteristic of light waves. The historical significance of the discovery of this property in light, which gradually gained acceptance for the wave model of light propagation, is emphasized. The two-beam interference at the double slit is discussed here first.