Huygens principle introduction

In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of the Huygens principle and its application in solving the wave equation. It is mentioned that the common tangential surface of the secondary wavelets forms the new wavefront and that this principle only holds in odd-dimensional spaces. The idea of diffraction is also mentioned as a way to account for small surfaces or patterns in the surface.
  • #1
abhinavjeet
10
0
why only the common tangential surface of the secondary wavelets forms the new wavefront ?
what about all the other interferances that might occur between the waves of the secondary sources , like the constructive interferances that occur slightly offside towards the inside of the tangential surface but still have
not been canceled by destruactive interferance?
 
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  • #2
abhinavjeet said:
like the constructive interferances that occur slightly offside towards the inside of the tangential surface but still have
not been canceled by destruactive interferance?
There is no such thing, if you consider sufficiently large homogeneous areas. If you have very small surfaces or some patterns in the surface, you can get additional angles, this is the idea of diffraction.
 
  • #3
First thing you need to realize is that huygens principle is just an analysis tool.It helps you find how the wave front will be at a later time if we are given the initial wave front.You can look into huygens paper on his principle where he have shown if we can consider each new point in space where the wavefront reaches as a new source which emits spherical wavefronts then we can construct the later wavefront as the one joining all the common tangential surface of the secondary wavelets
 
  • #4
The Huygens principle is a heuristic way to approximately solve the (linear!) wave equation. The correct way is of course to use the corresponding retarded propagator. The first thing you learn is that it holds only in odd-dimensional spaces. E.g., in 2D-wave problems it's invalid!
 

1. What is Huygens principle?

Huygens principle states that every point on a wavefront can be considered as a source of secondary wavelets, which spread out in all directions at the same speed as the original wave. These secondary wavelets then combine to form a new wavefront.

2. Who discovered Huygens principle?

Huygens principle was first proposed by Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens in 1678. He developed this principle as a way to explain the behavior of light and sound waves.

3. What is the significance of Huygens principle?

Huygens principle is significant because it helps us understand the properties of waves and how they propagate. It is also the basis for many important theories and concepts in physics, such as diffraction, interference, and refraction.

4. Can Huygens principle be applied to all types of waves?

Yes, Huygens principle can be applied to all types of waves, including light waves, sound waves, and water waves. It is a fundamental principle that applies to any type of wave phenomenon.

5. How is Huygens principle related to the concept of wave interference?

Huygens principle is closely related to the concept of wave interference. When multiple wavefronts overlap, the secondary wavelets from each wavefront interfere with each other, leading to constructive or destructive interference. This interference can be explained and predicted using Huygens principle.

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