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published by the University of Salford
This tutorial provides explanations and models of wave diffraction. It contains multiple images and animations explaining what happens when a wave encounters an obstacle. The tutorial begins by explaining how the amount of diffraction depends on the wavelength and the size of the object being encountered. It progresses to discussions of various diffraction effects, Huygen's Principle, and concludes with diffraction through two slits (a simulation of Young's classic experiment).

This item is part of a larger collection of multimedia tutorials on waves and acoustics, developed by the University of Salford, UK. The tutorials are accompanied by more than 60 videos and animations that represent fundamental properties of waves.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Technology
= Multimedia
Oscillations & Waves
- Acoustics
- Wave Motion
= Interference and Diffraction
= Interference and Diffraction of Sound
= Phase and Group Velocity
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Interactive Simulation
= Tutorial
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Educators
- Learners
- text/html
- application/flash
- application/shockwave
- image/gif
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© 2005 University of Salford, Greater Manchester, England, UK
Huygens' Principle, Young's Experiment, Young's double-slit, acoustics, diffraction, diffraction grating, double-slit experiment, double-slit simulation, video, wave simulations, waves, waves animations, waves tutorial, waves videos
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created March 23, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 18, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 1, 2018
Other Collections:

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4F. Motion
  • 6-8: 4F/M4. Vibrations in materials set up wavelike disturbances that spread away from the source. Sound and earthquake waves are examples. These and other waves move at different speeds in different materials.
  • 6-8: 4F/M7. Wave behavior can be described in terms of how fast the disturbance spreads, and in terms of the distance between successive peaks of the disturbance (the wavelength).
  • 6-8: 4F/M8. There are a great variety of electromagnetic waves: radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves, visible light, ultraviolet rays, X-rays, and gamma rays. These wavelengths vary from radio waves, the longest, to gamma rays, the shortest.
  • 9-12: 4F/H6ab. Waves can superpose on one another, bend around corners, reflect off surfaces, be absorbed by materials they enter, and change direction when entering a new material. All these effects vary with wavelength.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 6-8: 11B/M3. Different models can be used to represent the same thing. What model to use depends on its purpose.
  • 6-8: 11B/M4. Simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.
11D. Scale
  • 6-8: 11D/M3. Natural phenomena often involve sizes, durations, and speeds that are extremely small or extremely large. These phenomena may be difficult to appreciate because they involve magnitudes far outside human experience.
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AIP Format
(University of Salford, Greater Manchester, 2005), WWW Document, (
University of Salford Tutorials: Diffraction (University of Salford, Greater Manchester, 2005), <>.
APA Format
University of Salford Tutorials: Diffraction. (2018, January 1). Retrieved June 23, 2024, from University of Salford:
Chicago Format
University of Salford. University of Salford Tutorials: Diffraction. Greater Manchester: University of Salford, January 1, 2018. (accessed 23 June 2024).
MLA Format
University of Salford Tutorials: Diffraction. Greater Manchester: University of Salford, 2005. 1 Jan. 2018. 23 June 2024 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {University of Salford Tutorials: Diffraction}, Publisher = {University of Salford}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {23 June 2024}, Month = {January 1, 2018}, Year = {2005} }
Refer Export Format

%T University of Salford Tutorials: Diffraction %D January 1, 2018 %I University of Salford %C Greater Manchester %U %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %D January 1, 2018 %T University of Salford Tutorials: Diffraction %I University of Salford %V 2024 %N 23 June 2024 %8 January 1, 2018 %9 text/html %U

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

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