# Lecture 8: Interference

• superposition of waves in same direction
graphical and mathematical
phase and path-length difference
application to thin films

• in 2/3 D
• Beats: interference of slightly different
frequencies

all x at same point in cycle (e. standing wave Wave: particles undergoing collective/correlated SHM • Traveling: (i) same A for all x and (ii) at given t. function of x .Summary of traveling vs. function of t) . different x at different point of cycle a sin (kx − ωt) (in general function of (x − vt)) • Standing: (i) A varies with x and (ii) at given t.g. maximum at cos ωt = 1 ) A(x) (2a sin kx) cos ωt (in general.

Interference: basic set-up • standing waves: superposition of waves traveling in opposite direction (not a traveling wave) is one type of interference • 2 waves traveling in same direction: distance of observer from source 1 D1 (x1 . t) D2 (x2 . t) • = a sin (kx1 − ωt + φ10 ) = a sin (kx2 − ωt + φ20 ) = a sin φ1 = a sin φ2 Phase constants tell us what the source is doing at t = 0 .

Interference: graphical aligned crest-to-crest and trough-to trough: in-phase D1 (x) = D2 (x) ⇒ φ1 = φ2 ± 2πm Dnet = 2D1 (or D2 ): A = 2a crest of wave 1 aligned with trough of wave 2: out of phase D1 (x) = −D2 (x) ⇒ Dnet (x) = 0 .

• Phase and path-length difference (t drops out) net phase difference determines interference: 2 contributions (i) path-length difference: ∆x = x2 − x1 (distance between sources: extra distance traveled by wave 2. independent of observer) (ii) inherent phase difference: ∆φ0 = φ10 − φ20 .

2/3D) . What are three possible values for d? Assume a sound speed of 340 m/s.Example • Two in-phase loudspeakers separated by distance d emit 170 Hz sound waves along the x-axis. As you walk along the axis. ( ∆φ independent of observer in 1D cf. away from the speakers. you don’t hear anything even thought both speakers are on.

− ωt + φ0 avg.. = (x1 + x2 ) /2.Identical sources: ∆φ0 = 0 maximum constructive interference: ∆x = mλ perfect destructive interference: ∆x = (m + 1/2) λ Interference: mathematical D = D1 + D2 = A sin (kxavg.. = x of observer +. = (φ10 + φ20 ) /2 A = 2a cos ∆φ 2 (independent of x of observer) ⇒ traveling wave (xavg. ) xavg...φ0 avg.) • In general.) A varies from 0 for ∆φ = (2m + 1)π (perfect destructive interference) to 2a for ∆φ = 2mπ (maximum constructive interference) (confirms graphical. neither exactly out of nor in phase .

2nd destructive for λD = m−1/2 . . m = 1. 2.. 2. (anti-reflection coating for lens) ... m = 1..Application to thin films • reflection from boundary at which index of refraction increases (speed of light decreases) phase shift of π • 2 reflected waves interfere: from air-film and film-glass boundaries ( nair = 1 < nf ilm < nglass) ∆x ∆φ = 2π − ∆φ0 λf 2dn = 2π wave 2 travels λ twice thru’ film in air Use ∆φ0 = 0 (common origin) λ λf = n ⇒ constructive for λC = 2nd m . .

. . crests troughs.• • Interference in 2/3 D Similar to 1D with x r: D(r.. after T/2.points of constructive/destructive interference same ∆r (⇒ ∆φ and A) depends on observer (cf. t) = a sin (kr − ωt + φ0 ) constant a approx. in 1 D) measure r by counting rings...

2 ( ∆r → ∆x for 1D) .• Picturing interference in 2/3 D Antinodal and nodal lines: line of points with same ∆r . A traveling wave along it Strategy for interference problems • • assume circular waves of same amplitude • • note ∆φ0 draw picture with sources and observer at distances r1.

y) = ( 300 m. Is the point (x.Example • Two out-of-phase radio antennas at x = +/.300 m on the x-axis are emitting 3. or something in between? . perfect destructive interference. 800 m ) a point of maximum constructive interference.0 MHz radio waves.

φ10 = φ20 = π ! " D = D1 + D2 = 2a cos ωmod. t sin ωavg. x = 0. t 1 ωavg. same f): e.Beats • superposition of waves of slightly different f (so far. = 2 (ω1 − ω2 ): modulation frequency . 2 tones with ∆f ∼ 1 Hz single tone with intensity modulated: loud-soft-loud • Simplify: a 1 D1 = a1 sin (k1 x − ω1 t + φ10 ) D2 = a2 sin (k2 x − ω2 t + φ20 ) = a2 = a. = 2 (ω1 + ω2 ): average frequency 1 ωmod.g.

t is slowly changing amplitude for rapid oscillations sin ωavg. t • Note heard is favg. but after a while out of step (A = 0) due to unequal f’s Beats frequency I ∝ A2 ∝ cos2 ωmod. = f1 − f2 . ≈ ω1 or 2 ωmod. t) fbeat = 2fmod. t = Each loud-soft-loud is 1 beat 1 2 (1 + cos 2ωmod. = ωavg. 2a cos ωmod.Conditions for beats ω1 ≈ ω2 ⇒ ωavg. but loud-soft-loud: modulation (periodic variation of variation of amplitude) • waves alternately in and out of phase: initially crests overlap A = 2 a. /(2π) ≈ f1. # ωavg. 2.