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Wavefront

  • Suggested by Huygens.
  • The locus of all particles in a medium, vibrating in the same phase is called wavefront (WF).
  • The direction of propagation of light (ray of light) is perpendicular to the WF.
  • Every point on the given wave front acts as a source of new disturbance called secondary wavelets which travel in all directions with the velocity of light in the medium.
  • A surface touching these secondary wavelets tangentially in the forward direction at any instant gives the new wave front at that instant. This is called secondary wavefront (Fig. 1).
94647.png
Fig. 1
 
Different types of wavefront

Spherical
  1. 94674.png
Intensity: 94693.png
 
 

Cylindrical
  1. 94684.png
Intensity: 94699.png
 
 

Plane
  1. 94709.png
Intensity: I ∝ r0




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