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what is diffraction and what are its causes?

what is diffraction and what are its causes?

Grade:12

1 Answers

Aman Bansal
592 Points
9 years ago

Dear Viraj,

  Diffraction of light occurs because of its transverse wave nature.  We have already said that when light hits an object, it is diffracted.  This phenomenon is best understood by an examination of Huygens Principle. In 1678, the Dutch pysicist Christiaan Huygens wrote a treatise on the wave theory of light in which he presented a theory now known as HuygensPrinciple.  It states that every point on a wave front can be thought of as a new point source for waves generated in the direction the wave is traveling or being propagated.  OR--  the wavefront of a propagating wave of light at any instant conforms to the envelope of spherical wavelets emanating from every point on the wavefront at the prior instant (with the understanding that the wavelets have the same speed as the overall wave).  Fresnel later elaborated on Huygens Principle by stating that the amplitude of the wave at any given point equals the superposition of the amplitudes of all the secondary wavelets at that point (with the understanding that the wavelets have the same frequency as the original wave). These are termed Huygens wavelets. The formation of the  Airy disk can best be described by looking at how imaging of a luminous point occurs in a lens system such as is found in the compound microscope

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