Diffraction

Diffraction pattern made by light passing through a single pinhole

Diffraction is a physics concept. Diffraction occurs when waves bend around small obstacles, or when waves spread out after they pass through small openings. Diffraction occurs with all waves, including sound waves, water waves, and electromagnetic waves such as light that the eye can see. Diffraction also occurs with matter such as electrons.

Causes of diffraction

A sketch of two-slit diffraction. The wave that passed through the slits was diffracted and will interfere with itself.

Diffraction is caused by one wave of light being shifted by a diffracting object. This shift will cause the wave to have interference with itself. Interference can be either constructive or destructive. When interference is constructive, the intensity of the wave will increase. When interference is destructive, the intensity will decrease, sometimes to a point where it is completely destroyed. These patterns of interference rely on the size of the diffracting object and the size of the wave. The strongest examples of diffraction occur in waves where the wavelength is close to the size of the object causing diffraction.

Other Languages
العربية: حيود
বাংলা: অপবর্তন
беларуская: Дыфракцыя
български: Дифракция
català: Difracció
čeština: Difrakce
chiShona: Bvurunuro
Cymraeg: Diffreithiant
Ελληνικά: Περίθλαση
English: Diffraction
Esperanto: Difrakto
فارسی: پراش
français: Diffraction
Gaeilge: Díraonadh
galego: Difracción
한국어: 회절
Հայերեն: Դիֆրակցիա
हिन्दी: विवर्तन
hrvatski: Ogib
Bahasa Indonesia: Difraksi
italiano: Diffrazione
עברית: עקיפה
қазақша: Дифракция
Kreyòl ayisyen: Difraksyon
Кыргызча: Дифракция
latviešu: Difrakcija
lietuvių: Difrakcija
magyar: Diffrakció
മലയാളം: വിഭംഗനം
मराठी: विवर्तन
монгол: Дифракц
Nederlands: Diffractie
日本語: 回折
norsk nynorsk: Diffraksjon
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਵਿਵਰਤਨ
Piemontèis: Difrassion
polski: Dyfrakcja
português: Difração
română: Difracție
русский: Дифракция
sicilianu: Diffrazzioni
සිංහල: විවර්තනය
slovenčina: Difrakcia
slovenščina: Uklon
српски / srpski: Дифракција
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Difrakcija
Basa Sunda: Difraksi
suomi: Diffraktio
svenska: Diffraktion
తెలుగు: వివర్తనం
Türkçe: Kırınım
українська: Дифракція
اردو: انکسار
Tiếng Việt: Nhiễu xạ
中文: 衍射