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Chapter 38: Diffraction

Diffraction is the result of interference when a wave passes through an opening or edge. Diffraction effects are easier or harder to see depending on the wavelength of the wave and the size of a given opening. The physical principle behind diffraction is the same as that of interference (see Chapter 37): the superposition of waves. In order to observe the effects of diffraction, slits or gratings must be of a size comparable to the wavelength of the light.

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