Young on wave interference, 19th century

Young on wave interference, 19th century

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Young on wave interference. 19th-century diagram of interference patterns produced by the overlapping of two circular waves. The waves are produced by point sources A and B (left). The points where wave peaks and troughs reinforce or cancel each other are known as constructive and destructive interference. This diagram is by English physicist Thomas Young (1773-1829) who made important discoveries. He studied water waves and demonstrated interference for light, helping to establish the wave theory of light. Illustration from the 1845 edition of Young's 'A Course of Lectures on Natural Philosophy and the Mechanical Arts' (first edition 1807).

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