SAT Subject Physics Practice Question 322: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 322

18. Constructive interference between two light beams results in

A. a loss of kinetic energy.
B. the destruction of the waves.
C. the reversal of the direction of the waves.
D. a larger wave.
E. the refraction of the waves.

Correct Answer: D


The correct answer is (D). Constructive interference is the condition in which two or more waves simultaneously occupy the same point or place (superposition) in a medium. If one wave is negative and the other is positive, the waves cancel. This is destructive interference. If the both waves are positive or negative, then they combine their magnitudes and produce a larger wave at the point of superposition.

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