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Diffraction occurs “when waves pass through small openings, around obstacles, or past sharp edges. When an opaque object is placed between a point source of light and a screen, no sharp boundary exists on the screen between a shadowed region and an illuminated region. The illuminated region above the shadow of the object contains alternating light and dark fringes. Such a display is called a diffraction pattern.” [1]


  1. Halliday, Resnik, Walker: Fundamentals of Physics, 8th edition. p. 1200

See also

Double-slit experiment