Constructive interference: Two crests or two troughs meet and combine (A, B, C). Destructive interference: A crest and a trough meet and cancel each other (D, E, F).

interference, in physics, the effect produced by the combination or superposition of two systems of waves, in which these waves reinforce, neutralize, or in other ways interfere with each other. Interference is observed in both sound waves and electromagnetic waves, especially those of visible light and radio.

Sections in this article:

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Physics