Coherent and Incoherent Addition of Waves – Class 12 | Chapter – 10 | Physics Short Notes Series PDF for NEET & JEE
Coherent and Incoherent Addition of Waves: When two or more waves interact with each other, the resulting wave can be either a coherent or incoherent addition of the individual waves. In general, coherent addition is desirable in many applications, such as in optics or radio communications, where it allows for the creation of strong and stable signals. Incoherent addition, on the other hand, is often undesirable, as it can interfere with the clarity and quality of signals.
Coherent and Incoherent Addition of Waves
Coherent addition occurs when the waves have a constant phase difference, which means that the peaks and troughs of the waves are aligned. When this happens, the amplitudes of the waves add up, resulting in a wave with a larger amplitude than the individual waves. The resulting wave is still a wave with the same frequency as the original waves.
Incoherent addition, on the other hand, occurs when the waves have random or varying phase differences, which means that the peaks and troughs of the waves do not align. When this happens, the amplitudes of the waves do not add up in a consistent way, and the resulting wave may have a smaller amplitude than the individual waves. The resulting wave may also have a different frequency than the original waves.
Examples of Coherent and Incoherent Addition of Waves:
An example of coherent addition is interference in a double-slit experiment, where waves from two slits are in phase and interfere constructively to create a pattern of bright and dark fringes. In contrast, an example of incoherent addition is the random noise created by many sources of sound or light, which combine in an unpredictable way to create a jumbled, chaotic signal.
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