RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Double-slit experiment Computer artwork showing a plane wave (top left) passing through a screen with two gaps. The gaps act as new wave sources and the wavefronts bend to create two sets of circular waves radiating outwards. These two new waves create an interference pattern as they interact. At the point where a wave peak from one hits a wave peak from another, or a trough hits a trough, they reinforce each other; their magnitudes are summed. This is known as constructive interference. Where a trough hits a peak or vice versa and they cancel each other out. This is known as destructive interference.
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