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published by the Physics Education Technology Project
This interactive simulation allows users to explore the properties of waves. Wave sources and mediums are provided for water, sound, and light so users can compare the behavior of different types of waves. Options include a stopwatch and ruler to measure the waves directly, along with moveable detectors and customizable slit widths and spacings to allow users to watch the interference patterns over time. All three options, water, sound, and light, allow users to select between one and two sources, and up to two slits.

This simulation is part of a large and growing collection. It has been designed using principles from physics education research and refined based on student interviews.

Please note that this resource requires Java.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Technology
= Multimedia
- Interference
= Interference From Two Sources
Oscillations & Waves
- Wave Motion
= Interference and Diffraction
= Interference and Diffraction of Sound
Quantum Physics
- Probability, Waves, and Interference
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Informal Education
- Instructional Material
= Interactive Simulation
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Categories Intended Users Ratings
- Pedagogy
- Learners
- Educators
  • Currently 4.0/5

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Access Rights:
Free access
© 2005 PHET and University of Colorado
Additional information is available.
double slit, interference pattern, light, single slit, sound, water
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created October 22, 2006 by Gifford Weber
Record Updated:
August 18, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 11, 2006
Other Collections:

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Record Link
AIP Format
, Version 1.01 (Physics Education Technology Project, Boulder, 2005), WWW Document, (
PhET Simulation: Wave Interference, , Version 1.01 (Physics Education Technology Project, Boulder, 2005), <>.
APA Format
PhET Simulation: Wave Interference. (2006, August 11). Retrieved April 28, 2017, from Physics Education Technology Project:
Chicago Format
Physics Education Technology Project. PhET Simulation: Wave Interference. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, August 11, 2006. (accessed 28 April 2017).
MLA Format
PhET Simulation: Wave Interference. Vers. 1.01. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, 2005. 11 Aug. 2006. 28 Apr. 2017 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PhET Simulation: Wave Interference}, Publisher = {Physics Education Technology Project}, Volume = {2017}, Number = {28 April 2017}, Month = {August 11, 2006}, Year = {2005} }
Refer Export Format

%T PhET Simulation: Wave Interference
%D August 11, 2006
%I Physics Education Technology Project
%C Boulder
%O 1.01
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D August 11, 2006
%T PhET Simulation: Wave Interference
%I Physics Education Technology Project
%V 2017
%N 28 April 2017
%7 1.01
%8 August 11, 2006
%9 application/java

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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

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