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# Optics Course

(Phys 311)
Wave Optics
The Superposition of Waves (1 of 2)
Lecturer:

Dr Zeina Hashim

Phys
311

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 1

1.

## The Principle of Superposition.

2.

The Addition of Waves of the Same Frequency Along the Same Direction:
a. algebraic method:

The resultant wave equation, its new (amplitude, phase, and flux density).

## The Phase difference between two superimposed waves.

The resultant wave equation in the case where two identical waves are following each

other by .
-

## The superposition of many waves.

b. complex method.

c. phasors method.

Phys
311

## The Principle of Superposition :

Why study this process?
Because it underlies
the three phenomena we will soon study:
Interference Diffraction Polarization
The Principle:
The resultant disturbance at any point in a medium is
the algebraic sum of the separate constituent waves

= 1 1 + 2 2 +

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 2

Phys
311

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 3

## The Principle of Superposition :

How did we know this?
From the 3D differential equation:
All solutions of this equation are linear (i.e. to the first power).
This implies that any linear combination of these solutions is also a solution.
Therefore:

Phys
311

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 4

## Are all EM waves linear ??

No ! We have non-linear waves, which we will not study.
They are solutions to non-linear partial differential wave equations.

## These waves do not satisfy the Principle of Superposition.

A nonlinear wave is caused by a VERY LARGE force.
An example is: A focused beam of a high-intensity laser (Electric field = 1010 V/cm).
So, our differential equation should be called:
linear partial differential wave equation

Phys
311

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 5

Algebraic Method

Complex Method

Graphical Method
(Phasors)

Phys
311

## Wave Optics: The Superposition of Waves

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 6

Algebraic Method

= 1 sin + 1 + 1 sin( + 2 )

Let:

Phys
311

## Wave Optics: The Superposition of Waves

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 7

Algebraic Method
Using: sin + = sin cos + cos sin

= sin( + )

This is the new wave equation which resulted from the superposition of the two waves.
It:

is harmonic

and has:

but it has:

Phys
311

Algebraic Method

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 8

,

## 2 cos2 = 1 2 cos2 1 + 2 2 cos 2 2 + 21 2 cos 1 cos 2

2 sin2 = 1 2 sin2 1 + 2 2 sin2 2 + 21 2 sin 1 sin 2

sin2 + sin2 = 1

## 2 = 1 2 + 2 2 + 21 2 (cos 1 cos 2 + sin 1 sin 2 )

( )
= + + ( ) its new amplitude.
is called the phase difference

2 1
The resultants amplitude depends on what?

Phys
311

Algebraic Method

## When the two wave equations are:

In-phase

= , , ,

Out-of-phase

= , ,

Homework: Q1:
Show that when the two wave equations
1 = 1 sin( + 1 ) and
2 = 2 sin( + 2 ) are in-phase, the resulting
amplitude squared is a maximum (and equals
(1 + 2 )2 ), and when they are out-of-phase it is
a minimum (and equals (1 2 )2 ).

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 9

Phys
311

Algebraic Method

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 10

## The Phase Difference:

= but
So,

= + +

= ( + + )
=

+
Distances
from
sources

Initial
phases

If 1 2 =
the waves are coherent

Phys
311

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 11

Algebraic Method

## The Phase Difference:

If the two waves were initially in phase (example: they came from the same source):

Optical path
difference ()

Optical Path:
=
d here is x

Q: How can two waves from the same source have different distances from the
source?

Phys
311

Algebraic Method

## Now, what is its new phase () ?

,
Divide the second equation by the first equation:
its new phase.

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 12

Phys
311

## Wave Optics: The Superposition of Waves

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 13

Algebraic Method
Now if I gave you the amplitudes and phases of two waves, can you write down
the wave equation of their resultant superposition ?

Homework: Q2:
Determine the resultant of the superposition of the parallel waves:
1 = 1 sin( + 1 ) and 2 = 2 sin( + 2 )

Phys
311

Algebraic Method

## What is the flux density of the resultant wave?

=
( + + )
2
=

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 14

= 1 + 2 +

2
The flux density has an extra term.
is called: Interference Term

Phys
311

## Wave Optics: The Superposition of Waves

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 15

Algebraic Method
If we have two waves which have the same frequency & same amplitude & same initial
phase, but one is following the other by
Then,

Phys
311

## Wave Optics: The Superposition of Waves

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 16

Algebraic Method
The special case of
Constructive Interference
Destructive Interference

Phys
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Algebraic Method

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 17

## The special case of

Constructive Interference
Destructive Interference
The peaks occur at the same time.
The resultants amplitude becomes
( = 1 + 2 ).
This happens when 1 2 = 0 , 2 ,

## The peak and trough occur at the same time.

The resultants amplitude becomes
( = 1 2 ).
This happens when 1 2 = , 3 ,

## Two waves with the same frequencies,

amplitudes, initial phases, and follow
each other by will interfere
constructively if

## Two waves with the same frequencies,

amplitudes, initial phases, and follow each
other by will interfere destructively if

= 21

= 0

Phys
311

Algebraic Method

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 18

Phys
311

Algebraic Method

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 19

## The superposition of N number of:

a. coherent
b. harmonic waves
c. having a given frequency (i.e. the same )
d. travelling in the same direction

## Leads to a harmonic wave of

that same frequency.

cos( )
=1

Phys
311

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 20

Algebraic Method

Complex Method

Graphical Method
(Phasors)

Phys
311

## Wave Optics: The Superposition of Waves

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 21

Complex Method
If we have N waves with the same frequency, travelling in the positive x-direction,
each having a wave equation of:

= (1 +)
The resultant wave of their superposition will be:

= (+)

2 =

=1

Phys
311

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 22

Algebraic Method

Complex Method

Graphical Method
(Phasors)

Phys
311

Graphical Method
(Phasors)

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 23

Phys
311

## Wave Optics: The Superposition of Waves

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 24

Graphical Method
(Phasors)
It is a graphical method to obtain the new amplitude and new phase.
It is useful when we have more than two waves which we need to combine.
Each wave is described by a vector: its length = amplitude of wave.
its direction from the positive x-axis = its .

## Phasors can be represented by:

c. Draw the resultant wave vector (from tail of first wave to head of last wave.
d. Resultant vector length = its amplitude. Its angle from + x-direction = its phase.

Phys
311

Graphical Method
(Phasors)
Example:

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 25

Phys
311

Graphical Method
(Phasors)

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 26

## The resultant wave leads or lags the constituent waves ?

wave 1 leads wave 2 means: peak of 1 occurs at an earlier location than peak of 2.
wave 1 lags wave 2 means: peak of 1 occurs at a later location than peak of 2.

## If it leads its phase is positive

(counter-clockwise from x-axis)

Phys
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Homework :

Q3:

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 27

Phys
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Homework :
Q4:

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 28

Phys
311

Summary:

Lesson 1 of 2
Slide 29 (last)

Any Questions?

## Superposition of waves (2)

1. The Principle of Superposition.
2. The Addition of Waves of the Same Frequency Along the Same Direction:

a. algebraic method:
- The resultant wave equation, its new (amplitude, phase, and flux density).
- The Phase Difference between two superimposed waves.

- The resultant wave equation in the case where two identical waves are following each other
by .
- The special cases of constructive and destructive interferences.
- The superposition of many waves.

b. complex method.

c. phasors method.