Q:

What is diffraction?

A:

Quick Answer

Diffraction occurs when a wave bends around objects. Diffraction is also said to occur when a wave spreads after it has passed through a type of gap.

Continue Reading
What is diffraction?
Credit: Bernt Rostad CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

Huygens' principle states that waves can spread in spheres or circles when in two-dimensional and three-dimensional space. Diffraction is the reason why a microscope is unable to be used to see much smaller details. In general, microscopes are only able to see details that are bigger than the used wavelength. Optical microscopes are unable to be used for any objects that are smaller than a micrometer. Viruses are mostly smaller than a micrometer and are usually undetected by microscopes.

Learn more about Motion & Mechanics

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the law of the pendulum?

    A:

    The law of the pendulum, discovered by Galileo Galilei, states that swinging objects follow the same path and have a period between swings that remains constant. Galileo attracted immediate attention for the discovery, which was later used in clock regulation.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the different types of force?

    A:

    Forces are broadly classified into two categories: contact forces, which are required to make contact with the object in order for them to work, and action-at-a-distance forces, which can act on objects placed at a distance. Contact forces include applied force, frictional force, normal force, spring force, tension force and air resistance. Action-at-a-distance forces include gravitational force, magnetic force and electrical force.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What kind of energy does an object have because of its motion?

    A:

    The energy associated with objects in motion is called kinetic energy. Any moving object has the potential to do work on something that it hits. Kinetic energy quantifies the amount of work the object could do as a result of its motion.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is capillarity?

    A:

    Capillarity refers to the depression or rise of a liquid in a small passage, such as the spaces in between towel fibers or openings in porous objects. Capillarity is caused by surface or interfacial forces.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore