# When two waves meet they interact this interaction is called

### Wave Interference ( Read ) | Physics | CK Foundation

They can undergo refraction, reflection, interference and diffraction. These behaviours of waves can help us understand how water waves interact with land. When two waves travelling in different directions meet, they combine their This is called resonance, and it happens when the frequency of the. When two waves come in contact with each other they interact. The crests of one wave meet the troughs of another wave (out of phase). · Results in the If a wave has a combination of the 2 it is called a standing wave. A standing wave. Interference is what happens when two or more waves come together. Although the waves interfere with each other when they meet, they continue pulse will be reflected upside down (also known as a ° phase shift).

This is depicted in the diagram below. In the diagram above, the interfering pulses have the same maximum displacement but in opposite directions.

The result is that the two pulses completely destroy each other when they are completely overlapped. At the instant of complete overlap, there is no resulting displacement of the particles of the medium. This "destruction" is not a permanent condition. In fact, to say that the two waves destroy each other can be partially misleading. When it is said that the two pulses destroy each other, what is meant is that when overlapped, the effect of one of the pulses on the displacement of a given particle of the medium is destroyed or canceled by the effect of the other pulse.

Recall from Lesson 1 that waves transport energy through a medium by means of each individual particle pulling upon its nearest neighbor. When two pulses with opposite displacements i. Once the two pulses pass through each other, there is still an upward displaced pulse and a downward displaced pulse heading in the same direction that they were heading before the interference. Destructive interference leads to only a momentary condition in which the medium's displacement is less than the displacement of the largest-amplitude wave.

The two interfering waves do not need to have equal amplitudes in opposite directions for destructive interference to occur. The resulting displacement of the medium during complete overlap is -1 unit. This is still destructive interference since the two interfering pulses have opposite displacements.

## Wave interference

In this case, the destructive nature of the interference does not lead to complete cancellation. If all the fringe patterns are in phase in the centre, then the fringes will increase in size as the wavelength decreases and the summed intensity will show three to four fringes of varying colour.

Young describes this very elegantly in his discussion of two slit interference. Since white light fringes are obtained only when the two waves have travelled equal distances from the light source, they can be very useful in interferometry, as they allow the zero path difference fringe to be identified.

Traditionally, interferometers have been classified as either amplitude-division or wavefront-division systems.

### Interference of Waves

In an amplitude-division system, a beam splitter is used to divide the light into two beams travelling in different directions, which are then superimposed to produce the interference pattern. The Michelson interferometer and the Mach-Zehnder interferometer are examples of amplitude-division systems.

In wavefront-division systems, the wave is divided in space—examples are Young's double slit interferometer and Lloyd's mirror. Interference can also be seen in everyday phenomena such as iridescence and structural coloration.

For example, the colours seen in a soap bubble arise from interference of light reflecting off the front and back surfaces of the thin soap film.

We'll discuss interference as it applies to sound waves, but it applies to other waves as well. Linear superposition The principle of linear superposition - when two or more waves come together, the result is the sum of the individual waves. The principle of linear superposition applies to any number of waves, but to simplify matters just consider what happens when two waves come together.

### Interactions of Waves

For example, this could be sound reaching you simultaneously from two different sources, or two pulses traveling towards each other along a string. When the waves come together, what happens? The result is that the waves are superimposed: Although the waves interfere with each other when they meet, they continue traveling as if they had never encountered each other.

When the waves move away from the point where they came together, in other words, their form and motion is the same as it was before they came together.

Interference, Reflection, and Diffraction

Constructive interference Constructive interference occurs whenever waves come together so that they are in phase with each other. This means that their oscillations at a given point are in the same direction, the resulting amplitude at that point being much larger than the amplitude of an individual wave. For two waves of equal amplitude interfering constructively, the resulting amplitude is twice as large as the amplitude of an individual wave.

## Interference of Waves

For waves of the same amplitude interfering constructively, the resulting amplitude is times larger than the amplitude of an individual wave. Constructive interference, then, can produce a significant increase in amplitude.

The following diagram shows two pulses coming together, interfering constructively, and then continuing to travel as if they'd never encountered each other. Another way to think of constructive interference is in terms of peaks and troughs; when waves are interfering constructively, all the peaks line up with the peaks and the troughs line up with the troughs. Destructive interference Destructive interference occurs when waves come together in such a way that they completely cancel each other out.