### The exponential graph

The exponential function is a special exponential function; the gradient of any point on the curve is the same as the value of the function at that point.

In the above animation, five points on the wave are considered for the explanation. The fully interactive applet is given below for you to practise. The phase of a point implies its direction of vibration on a wave. For example, both points A and E vibrate exactly the same way are said to be in phase: when A goes up so does B; the phase difference is either 0 0 or 360 0 . If you consider the motion of points A and C, on the other hand, when A goes down C goes up or vice versa. Therefore, A and C are said to be out of phase; the phase difference is 180 0 . That means the phase difference between two points on a wave - or two waves for that matter - can take any value between 0 0 and 360 0 . The phase difference between points A and B, for instance, is 90 0 . From the above examples, it is clear there is a connection between the path difference between two points - or two waves - and phase difference. It is as follows: Phase difference = (path difference / wavelength) x 360 φ = x

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