When interference happens with two monochromatic light waves, which of the following is a characteristic of the amplitude of the resultant wave?
a. it is zero.
b. it is equal to the sum of the amplitudes of the component waves.
c. less than the amplitude of either of the component waves.
d. greater than the amplitude of either of the component waves.
The interference is the phenomenon relating to the wave nature of light (electromagnetic waves). There are two conditions for the interference pattern which are observed namely constructive interference and destructive interference.
Answer and Explanation:
Monochromatic light waves from two sources mean the light waves are having the same wavelength pertaining to the same type of color from the light spectrum. The path difference is the necessary condition that will lead to an interference pattern.
(i) For constructive interference- the resultant amplitude will equal the sum of the amplitudes of the component waves.
(ii) For destructive interference- the resultant amplitude will be zero.
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from CLEP Natural Sciences: Study Guide & Test PrepChapter 8 / Lesson 16