Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 29 - Think and Explain: 37

Answer

Destructive interference.

Work Step by Step

If no phase change occurs upon any of the reflections, then the situation is effectively one in which one wave travels a half-wavelength longer than the other wave. Because the waves were initially in phase, delaying one of them by a half-wavelength means they are now exactly out of phase. This results in destructive interference. This is discussed on pages 549-551, and shown in Figure 29.12b. Waves that are a half-wavelength out of phase cancel each other completely.
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