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We can make the observation that we can hear around corners (somewhat) but not see around corners. Estimate why this is so by considering a doorway and two kinds of waves passing through it.
- A beam of red light (λ =
660 nm)
- A sound wave playing
an "A" (
*f*= 440 Hz).
Treat these two waves as plane waves passing through a slit whose width equals the width of the door. Find the angle that gives the position of the first dark diffraction fringe. From that, assuming you are 2 m back from the door, estimate how far outside the door you could be and still detect the wave. (See the picture for a clarification. The distance |

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Page last modified October 31, 2002: OP16