Question about light and interference

In summary: Many objects are made of materials that have some sort of discontinuity, like a piece of paper, which can act as a waveguide and allow light to pass through without interference. Materials with no significant discontinuities, like a metal, will reflect all light and will cause interference. The properties of light that allow it to interfere without causing wave interference are called the coherence properties of light. The coherence properties of light are related to the fact that light waves are a bunch of waves that are all traveling in the same direction. When the waves are all traveling in the same direction they add up and create a stronger wave. The coherence properties of light are also related to the fact that light waves have
  • #1
ValenceE
142
0
Hello to all,

I searched the different forums for an explanation but have not found one complete enough yet… the question is about light interference and goes like this ;

Can you explain or point me towards a link that explains why the light in everyday life doesn’t interfere with itself ?

I mean, when I look around me, the ‘continuum’ of space that my eyes scan, is full of an incredibly high number of light beams reflected from an equally high number of surfaces, coming from all directions.

How come, given all this wave carried information, is there no interference taking place ?

What is the property or properties of light that makes it all appear just right ?



Regards,

VE
 
Science news on Phys.org
  • #2
Firstly some interfence will be occurring, however, often it will not be noticable since (a) the sources will not be coherent (b) there will be a large range of wavelengths.
 
  • #3
ValenceE said:
Hello to all,

I searched the different forums for an explanation but have not found one complete enough yet… the question is about light interference and goes like this ;

Can you explain or point me towards a link that explains why the light in everyday life doesn’t interfere with itself ?

I mean, when I look around me, the ‘continuum’ of space that my eyes scan, is full of an incredibly high number of light beams reflected from an equally high number of surfaces, coming from all directions.

How come, given all this wave carried information, is there no interference taking place ?

What is the property or properties of light that makes it all appear just right ?



Regards,

VE
Light in everyday life often does interfere with itself. Every time you see colors in a soap bubble or an oil slick on a puddle you are seeing the effects of interference. The lenses in eyeglasses are often coated with thin films to make the surfaces less reflective, an effect that is achieved because of interference. The reason light interference is not more prevalent is that the wavelength is so short compared to the typical spacing between objects and the surface roughness of most objects. To see interference effects you need to have very smooth surfaces and at most very gradual changes in thickness or separation.

Longer length waves like sound or water waves can be heard or seen to interfere very readily. The vibrations of strings on stringed instruments exhibit wave interference every time they make a sound.
 

Related to Question about light and interference

What is light?

Light is a form of electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye. It is made up of tiny particles called photons that travel in waves.

How does light travel?

Light travels in straight lines at a constant speed of approximately 186,000 miles per second in a vacuum. When light enters a different medium, such as air or water, its speed and direction may change.

What is interference?

Interference is a phenomenon that occurs when two or more waves of light combine and either amplify or cancel each other out. This can result in changes in the intensity or direction of the light waves.

What causes interference in light?

Interference in light can be caused by various factors, such as the superposition of waves from different sources, reflections, or diffraction. It can also be caused by the interaction of light waves with materials, such as thin films or diffraction gratings.

How is interference used in science and technology?

Interference is used in various fields of science and technology, such as optics, telecommunications, and medical imaging. It is used to manipulate and control light waves, allowing for the creation of devices such as lenses, mirrors, and fiber optics. It is also used in experiments and studies to understand the behavior of light and its interactions with matter.

Similar threads

Replies
7
Views
2K
Replies
4
Views
1K
Replies
6
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
28
Views
3K
Replies
53
Views
7K
Replies
1
Views
773
Replies
10
Views
1K
  • Quantum Physics
Replies
14
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
1K
Back
Top