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# What is the principle of superposition of waves?

of waves is what happens when two or more waves overlap. The result is wave . There are two types of interference: constructive and destructive.

Constructive interference is when two crests or two troughs overlap. Destructive interference is when a crest is over a trough.

In the diagram, the wave on the left represents constructive interference. Diagram (a) is one wave form and Diagram (b) is another. For simplification, let's say that (a) is moving to the right and (b) is moving to the left. Notice that the waves are identical in amplitude, wavelength, frequency, and position.

When the two waves overlap in Diagram (c), there is an increase in amplitude. This is because the amount of of each wave is in the same place at the same time. The only property of the two waves to change is amplitude. Notice that the wavelength, frequency, and time period do not change during interference.

When constructive interference occurs, the result is called reinforcement.

In the diagrams on the right, this is called destructive interference. This is very similar to constructive interference except for the position. From Diagram (a) to Diagram (b), the crest is over the trough. This is called cancellation. Notice the straight line in Diagram (c).

After the two waves pass each other, they return to their original waveform. An example of this is music! The beat of the musics is one result from superposition. When the waves are in-phase, there is an increase and when the waves are out-of-phase, there is a decrease. The repetition of this results in a beat.