University Physics with Modern Physics (14th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0321973615
ISBN 13: 978-0-32197-361-0

Chapter 36 - Diffraction - Problems - Discussion Questions - Page 1210: Q36.2


They are not different physical processes. See explanation.

Work Step by Step

As explained on page 1187, in Fresnel diffraction, the point source and the screen are relatively close to the diffracting object. In contrast, Fraunhofer diffraction is a limiting case where the point source, screen, and diffracting object are so far apart that light rays can be approximated as being parallel to each other. They operate with the same physical principle of wave interference, though Fraunhofer diffraction is easier to treat mathematically.
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