Wave interference

Two oscillators emitting an identical frequency.

Wave interference can be constructive or destructive in nature. Shown here in purple are two oscillators each emitting an identical frequency. When frequency waves meet the effects are multiplied.

A preview of an interactive 3D model showing wave interference.

Where two crests of a wave meet, they amplify each other and a higher crest is formed, this is known as constructive interference. When a crest meets a trough they neutralise each other and this is referred to as destructive interference.

An orthographic view of wave interference in action.

Interference effects can be observed with all types of waves, including, light, radio, acoustic, surface waves and more.

Discover more about wave cycles with this animated introduction into electromagnetic waves.