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Physics LibreTexts

6.8: Path Difference

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  • If two sources of waves are in phase to start with, when they reach a distant location they may be in-phase (leading to constructive interference) or out-of-phase (leading to destructive interference) depending on slight differences in the distance traveled. This path difference gives rise to many interesting phenomena such as interference patterns (in the case of light) and dead spots in auditoriums (in the case of sound).