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Two identical waves traveling in the same direction are superimposed. What should be the phase...

Question:

Two identical waves traveling in the same direction are superimposed. What should be the phase difference between the waves for maximum destructive interference to occur?

Interference

If the difference between the optical path lengths of two co-propagating coherent beams equals an integer multiple of the wavelength {eq}\lambda {/eq}, the two reflected rays interfere constructively, since the maxima of the electric field coincide. If the difference between the optical path lengths coincides with an odd multiple of {eq}\lambda / 2 {/eq}, a minimum and a maximum of the electric field coincide and the interference is destructive.

Answer and Explanation:

The phase difference should be an odd multiple of {eq}\pi {/eq}, i.e. {eq}\pi, 3 \, \pi, 5 \, \pi, ... {/eq}.


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Constructive and Destructive Interference

from CLEP Natural Sciences: Study Guide & Test Prep

Chapter 8 / Lesson 16
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