Diffraction is the bending of a wave around an obstacle. Try this activity out to see what happens when we add wax blocks to a ripple tank.
When the opening between the wax blocks is about the same size as or smaller than the wavelength, you can see how the wave diffracts through the opening.
Diffraction is the bending of a wave around an obstacle. The waves that emerge from the narrow opening are semicircular and very similar to the waves made by the eyedropper. As the opening between the wax blocks get larger, the diffraction of the wave becomes less obvious. In the next experiment you will use diffraction to create two circular wave sources to see interference.