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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

What are some examples of diffraction?

  By GK Planet Team       Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Diffraction & Its Examples

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.

The effects of diffraction are often seen in everyday life. The most striking examples of diffraction are those that involve light; for example, the closely spaced tracks on a CD or DVD act as a diffraction grating to form the familiar rainbow pattern seen when looking at a disc.

The setting sun is also a good example of the diffraction of light. The setting sun appears to be red because of the diffraction of light from dust particles in the atmosphere.

Some examples of diffraction of light

The effects of diffraction are often seen in everyday life. The most striking examples of diffraction are those that involve light; for example, the closely spaced tracks on a CD or DVD act as a diffraction grating to form the familiar rainbow pattern seen when looking at a disc. This principle can be extended to engineer a grating with a structure such that it will produce any diffraction pattern desired; the hologram on a credit card is an example. Diffraction in the atmosphere by small particles can cause a bright ring to be visible around a bright light source like the sun or the moon. A shadow of a solid object, using light from a compact source, shows small fringes near its edges. The speckle pattern which is observed when laser light falls on an optically rough surface is also a diffraction phenomenon. When deli meat appears to be iridescent, that is diffraction off the meat fibres. All these effects are a consequence of the fact that light propagates as a wave.

Diffraction can occur with any kind of wave. Ocean waves diffract around jetties and other obstacles. Sound waves can diffract around objects, which is why one can still hear someone calling even when hiding behind a tree. Diffraction can also be a concern in some technical applications; it sets a fundamental limit to the resolution of a camera, telescope, or microscope.

Radio waves (specially AM) diffract when they come in contact with buildings. Radio waves bend around buildings and hence, the reception is still good on the opposite side.

List of Examples of Diffraction

A few examples of diffraction  are:
  1. The rainbow pattern found on the hologram of your credit/debit card.
  2. The rainbow pattern found on a CD/DVD/Vinyl.
  3. The setting sun appears to be red because of the diffraction of light from dust particles in the atmosphere. So it’s a good example of the diffraction of light.

What is an example of a diffraction?

The most colourful examples of diffraction are those involving light; for example, the closely spaced tracks on a CD or DVD act as a diffraction grating to form the familiar rainbow pattern we see when looking at a disk.
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