### Phase Difference between Two Points on a Wave and Path Difference Explained - interactive

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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