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Path difference of wave

  1. Mar 9, 2009 #1
    take it as em waves.
    if the path difference is nlambda, where n is an integer, the interference will be a constructive one.
    if the difference is (n+1/2)lambda, it'll be distructive.

    what's it if the difference is neither nlambda nor (n+1/2)lambda?

    thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2009 #2
    then it changes the magnitude of the wave by addition of the two waves of different phase:

    E(total)=E(wave1)+E(wave2)
    E(wave1)=E*cos(wt)
    E(wave2)=E*cos(wt+phi)
    where phi=2*Pi*(path_difference/lambda).
     
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