# Physics Alevel

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#1
Does anyone know the difference between superposition and interference in waves ? or are they the same thing?
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1 month ago
#2
They are pretty much the same thing - just the idea that when two waves cross paths, the resultant displacement is equal to the sum of the individual displacement of the two waves.
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#3
(Original post by tej3141)
They are pretty much the same thing - just the idea that when two waves cross paths, the resultant displacement is equal to the sum of the individual displacement of the two waves.
so what is the slight difference?
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1 month ago
#4
(Original post by Jasmine30)
so what is the slight difference?
There isn't one. But you'll often see interference paired with the words "constructive" or "destructive" to indicate whether the displacement increases or cancels out
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1 month ago
#5
And to add to the good replies above:
'Interference' is usually used when referring to an 'interference pattern' or 'interference fringes', that is, the light and dark patterns you can see under certain conditions when two light waves meet.

'Superposition' is usually used when talking about the mathematical process of 'adding' the amplitudes of waves together.
'Interference' is more often used when talking about the result of this addition.

But as the other poster has clearly said - they are essentially the same thing.
1
1 month ago
#6
(Original post by Jasmine30)
Does anyone know the difference between superposition and interference in waves ? or are they the same thing?
Do you go to AHS? Aylesbury highschool?
Last edited by thewingedlynx; 1 month ago
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