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Waves, sound and light


After this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Define wavefront as an imaginary line connecting points of the medium that are in phase
  • State Huygens’ principle
  • Define diffraction as the ability of a wave to spread out after an obstacle or aperture
  • Apply Huygens’ principle to explain diffraction qualitatively
  • Explain the formation of bright and dark fringes of light in terms of constructive and destructive interference of secondary wavelets
  • Sketch the light diffraction pattern formed by a single slit
  • Understand that the degree of diffraction is proportional to the wavelength and inversely proportional to the slit width
  • Appreciate that the diffraction of light demonstrates its wave nature


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