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Why do light form an interference pattern when passing through only one slit?

  1. Aug 4, 2012 #1
    Hi guys, i know that if we were to have one water wave passing through two slit, an interference pattern would be form. However, i am still unclear of the kind of the pattern that will be form when a single water wave were to pass through a single slit. Will it form an interference pattern too? If so, how does the interference pattern form when there were no two coherent waves interacting with each other?

    This also applies to monochromatic light passing through a single slit.. will it form an interference pattern just like when it passes through two slit?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2012 #2
    What you are referring to are DIFFRACTION patterns.
    These can consist of maxima and minima fringes but their formation is subtly different from interference max and min formed by 2 or more wavefronts.
  4. Aug 4, 2012 #3
    Oh i see, yea i got kinda mixed up... many thanks!
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