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Interference Model: Ripple Tank
written by Andrew Duffy
The Interference Model: Ripple Tank investigates constructive and destructive interference between two point sources. The user can change the point source frequency, location and separation and phase difference between the point sources.  The model also shows the difference in distance from the point sources to a movable observation point.

The Interference Model: Ripple Tank was created using the Easy Java Simulations (EJS) modeling tool.  It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive.  Double clicking the ejs_bu_Ripple_Tank_Interference.jar file will run the program if Java is installed.

Please note that this resource requires at least version 1.5 of Java (JRE).
1 source code document is available
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Interference
= Interference From Two Sources
Oscillations & Waves
- Wave Motion
= Interference and Diffraction
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Upper Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Interactive Simulation
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- Educators
- application/java
  • Currently 5.0/5

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Access Rights:
Free access
This material is released under a GNU General Public License Version 3 license.
Rights Holder:
Andrew Duffy, Boston University
constructive interference, destructive interference, interference, ripple tank
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created April 24, 2010 by Anne Cox
Record Updated:
June 10, 2014 by Andreu Glasmann
Last Update
when Cataloged:
April 24, 2010
Other Collections:

great applet.

Author: lookang
Posted: February 10, 2011 at 8:38AM
Source: The Open Source Physics collection

Ejs Open Source Ripple Tank Interference Model java applet a remix from Interference Model: Ripple Tank written by Andrew Duffy

changes made

1 redesign layout and color scheme
2 add v and lambda slider controls
3 add time to show the progress for student to use v to calculate how much the wave move
4 add the 4 types of visualization
5 add the 10 mode of color visualization
6 add legend, suspect buggy but will try to activate it for relation learning to the visualization meaning of color
7 add S1 and S2 y displacement as vertical bar for understanding of phase difference at the sources S1 and S2
8 add y1 and y2 and y1+y2 for the y displacement for understanding of superposition of point P
9 added coherence and incoherence check-box for exploring what if scenario for exploring in-depth the meaning of incoherence.
incoherence here refer to v=!v2 || f=!f2 || lambda=!lambda2
31January 2011
10 added screen effects (instantaneous patterns and average intensity patterns) of the interference patterns for both coherent and incoherent sources from by Juan M. Aguirregabiria. now it is very easy to visualize the meaning of coherent sources. Smiley
10 February 2011
11 add check box to visual true S1, S2 and P bar values
12 add check box for visual instant and average pattern of the end of the screen for relating to future cases of interference as such light waves
13 made S1 and S2 show when radio buttons are selected
14 fix a bug on the S1 and S2 bar with phase is change
15 made the area to display top view of ripple tank bigger to solve the bug of a line showing
16 made some animated gif to others to use here

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Record Link
AIP Format
A. Duffy, Computer Program INTERFERENCE MODEL: RIPPLE TANK (2010), WWW Document, (
A. Duffy, Computer Program INTERFERENCE MODEL: RIPPLE TANK (2010), <>.
APA Format
Duffy, A. (2010). Interference Model: Ripple Tank [Computer software]. Retrieved July 21, 2024, from
Chicago Format
Duffy, Andrew. "Interference Model: Ripple Tank." (accessed 21 July 2024).
MLA Format
Duffy, Andrew. Interference Model: Ripple Tank. Computer software. 2010. Java (JRE) 1.5. 21 July 2024 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Andrew Duffy", Title = {Interference Model: Ripple Tank}, Month = {April}, Year = {2010} }
Refer Export Format

%A Andrew Duffy %T Interference Model: Ripple Tank %D April 24, 2010 %U %O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Computer Program %A Duffy, Andrew %D April 24, 2010 %T Interference Model: Ripple Tank %8 April 24, 2010 %U

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Interference Model: Ripple Tank:

Is Based On Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool

The Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool is needed to explore the computational model used in the Interference Model: Ripple Tank.

relation by Anne Cox

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