How to Read Water: Clues and Patterns from Puddles to the Sea (Natural Navigation) by Tristan Gooley

How to Read Water: Clues and Patterns from Puddles to the Sea (Natural Navigation) by Tristan Gooley

Author:Tristan Gooley [Gooley, Tristan]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: The Experiment
Published: 2016-09-11T07:00:00+00:00

Wave diffraction through a narrow gap.

A narrow gap gives the most dramatic demonstration of wave diffraction, but it’s actually happening whenever any waves pass obstacles. If you hide behind a tree you can still hear a person speaking on the other side, even though you can’t see them, which is a bit odd when you think about it—that sound isn’t going through the trunk of the tree, so how is it reaching you? The sound waves are getting diffracted, bent around the tree, reaching your ears. Light waves are far too small relative to the tree so don’t diffract noticeably, which is why we can’t see round trees. But light will get diffracted by much narrower gaps, which is why we see so many colors when looking at a silver DVD.

When water waves pass the end of a sea wall, for example, watch how they don’t travel in a straight line, but fan out to fill areas behind the wall, as in the diagram below.



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