Diffraction Definition

dĭ-frăkshən
noun
Change in the directions and intensities of a group of waves after passing by an obstacle or through an aperture whose size is approximately the same as the wavelength of the waves.
American Heritage
The breaking up of a ray of light into dark and light bands or into the colors of the spectrum, caused by the interference of one part of a beam with another, as when the ray is deflected at the edge of an opaque object or passes through a narrow slit.
Webster's New World
A similar breaking up of other waves, as of sound or electricity.
Webster's New World
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Other Word Forms of Diffraction

Noun

Singular:
diffraction
Plural:
diffractions

Origin of Diffraction

  • New Latin diffrāctiō diffrāctiōn- from Latin diffrāctus past participle of diffringere dis- apart dis– frangere to break bhreg- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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