Physics Questions and Answers – Coherent and Incoherent Addition of Waves

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This set of Physics Multiple Choice Questions & Answers (MCQs) focuses on “Coherent and Incoherent Addition of Waves”.

1. Which of the following is a form of light whose photons share the same frequency and whose wavelengths are in phase with one another?
a) Coherent sources
b) Incoherent sources
c) Electromagnetic waves
d) Sunlight
View Answer

Answer: a
Explanation: Coherent light is a form of light whose photons share the same frequency and whose wavelengths are in phase with one another. The phase difference between the waves should be constant in case of coherent sources.
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2. Which among the following is an example of coherent sources?
a) Fluorescent tubes
b) LED light
c) LASER
d) Tungsten filament lamps
View Answer

Answer: c
Explanation: LASER is the short form for Laser Amplification by Stimulated Emission Radiation. The amplified light beam coming out of a LASER is essentially due to the emission of electrons stimulated by incident radiation consisting of photons. As a result, this causes the coherent behavior of the LASER beam.

3. Pick the odd one out.
a) LASER
b) LED
c) Sound waves
d) Radio transmitters
View Answer

Answer: b
Explanation: LED is the odd one out. LED is short for light-emitting diode. LED is not a coherent source, whereas, others are examples of coherent sources. The light emitted from an LED is neither spectrally coherent nor even highly monochromatic.
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4. Scattering of waves can be coherent and incoherent.
a) True
b) False
View Answer

Answer: a
Explanation: Yes, the scattering of waves can be coherent and incoherent. The scattering of a wave is coherent and constructive if the phase delay is the same for all the scattered waves. If it varies randomly, then it is considered to be incoherent.

5. Identify the factor is not the same for coherent waves.
a) Frequency
b) Phase difference constant
c) Amplitude
d) Wavelength in phase with each other
View Answer

Answer: c
Explanation: Coherent waves are the waves with the same frequency and the wavelength of the waves are in phase as well. Therefore, the phase difference is constant. But the coherent waves do not have the same amplitude. Since the amplitude is different, there will be no complete constructive interference where they meet, so they will contribute poorly to an interference pattern.
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6. Which of the following is the formula for calculating coherence time?
a) Τc = \(\frac {\lambda^3}{(c\Delta \lambda)}\)
b) Τc = \(\frac {\lambda}{(c\Delta \lambda)}\)
c) Τc = \(\frac {\lambda^2}{(c\Delta \lambda)}\)
d) Τc = \(\frac {\lambda^2}{(c\Delta \lambda)}\)
View Answer

Answer: d
Explanation: The formula for calculating coherence time is given as:
Τc = \(\frac {\lambda^2}{(c\Delta \lambda)}\)
Where Τc is the coherence time, λ is the wavelength, ∆λ is the spectral width of the source, and c is the speed of light in a vacuum (i.e. 3 × 108 m/s).

7. When is the wave interference strong?
a) When the paths taken by all of the interfering waves are greater than the coherence length
b) When the paths taken by all of the interfering waves are lesser than the coherence length
c) When the paths taken by all of the interfering waves are equal than the coherence length
d) When the paths taken by all of the interfering waves are independent of the coherence length
View Answer

Answer: b
Explanation: Coherence length is defined as the propagation distance over which a coherent wave maintains a specified degree of coherence. Wave interference is strong when the paths taken by all of the interfering waves are lesser than the coherence length.
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Manish Bhojasia - Founder & CTO at Sanfoundry
Manish Bhojasia, a technology veteran with 20+ years @ Cisco & Wipro, is Founder and CTO at Sanfoundry. He is Linux Kernel Developer & SAN Architect and is passionate about competency developments in these areas. He lives in Bangalore and delivers focused training sessions to IT professionals in Linux Kernel, Linux Debugging, Linux Device Drivers, Linux Networking, Linux Storage, Advanced C Programming, SAN Storage Technologies, SCSI Internals & Storage Protocols such as iSCSI & Fiber Channel. Stay connected with him @ LinkedIn | Youtube | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter