SITEMAP * HOME PAGE * SEARCH * UK KS3 level Science Quizzes for students aged ~13-14

UK GCSE level BiologyChemistryPhysics age ~14-16 * Advanced Level Chemistry age ~16-18

School-college Physics Notes: Waves 9. Wave diffraction model of waves

Introduction to waves: 9. DIFFRACTION of waves and a scientific wave model

Doc Brown's Physics exam study revision notes

Theoretical model of a diffracted wave.

INDEX physics notes: Investigating & introducing properties of waves


9. DIFFRACTION of waves and a scientific wave model

  • The scientific model of the diffraction of waves through a gap (or bending round a corner)

  • Diffraction is the effect of waves spreading out when passing through a gap or passing by a barrier. In effect, waves go round corners! and it doesn't matter if its sound, light or water waves - they all diffract and bend round corners! The effect is so small with light (tiny wavelength), you don't notice it, but you see water waves bending around the walls of a harbour and you can hear sounds from round a corner.

  • You should appreciate that significant diffraction only occurs when the wavelength of the wave is of the same order of magnitude as the size of the gap or obstacle.

  • A: There is a relatively small diffraction effect when waves pass through a wide gap that is much bigger than the wavelength of the wave.

  • B: You get the maximum spreading or diffraction when the waves pass through a gap of similar size to the wavelength of the incident waves.

  • You can see these effects with transverse water waves at the seaside as waves hit the protective walls of a harbour BUT you need a very tiny slit to observe diffraction with light waves because of their tiny wavelength.

  • Excluding satellite TV and radio, if it wasn't for diffraction you would never get a radio signal down in a valley - the radio waves bend over the hills!

INDEX notes: Investigating and introducing the properties of waves


Keywords, phrases and learning objectives for waves

Be able to describe diffraction of waves using a scientific wave model and explain wave diffraction with suitable diagrams i.e. explain the theoretical modelling of diffracted waves.


WHAT NEXT?

TOP of page

INDEX physics notes: Introducing the properties of waves

INDEX of all notes on waves, radiation, astronomy etc.

INDEX of all my PHYSICS NOTES

email doc brown - comments - query?

BIG website, using the [SEARCH BOX] below, maybe quicker than navigating the many sub-indexes


HOME PAGE of Doc Brown's Science

Basic Science Quizzes for UK KS3 science students aged ~12-14, ~US grades 6-8

BiologyChemistryPhysics for UK GCSE level students aged ~14-16, ~US grades 9-10

Advanced Level Chemistry for pre-university age ~16-18 ~US grades 11-12, K12 Honors

Find your GCSE/IGCSE science course for more help links to all science revision notes

Use your mobile phone in 'landscape' mode?

SITEMAP Website content Dr Phil Brown 2000+. All copyrights reserved on Doc Brown's physics revision notes, images, quizzes, worksheets etc. Copying of website material is NOT permitted. Exam revision summaries and references to GCSE science course specifications are unofficial.

Using SEARCH some initial results may be ad links you can ignore - look for docbrown

INDEX notes: Investigating and introducing the properties of waves

TOP OF PAGE