In 1678, Christiaan Huygens, a Dutch physicist, put forward the wave theory of light. This wave model satisfactorily explained the phenomena of reflection and refraction. It predicted that on refraction if the light wave bends towards the normal then the speed of light would be less in the second medium. The wave theory of light is mainly discussed in this chapter. The following are the topics that we will be studying in this chapter:
- The original formulation of Huygen’s principle and the derivation of laws of reflection and refraction
- The phenomenon of interference based on the principle of superposition
- The phenomenon of diffraction based on the HuygensFresnel principle
- The phenomenon of polarisation based on the fact that the light waves are transverse electromagnetic waves
Frequently asked Questions on CBSE Class 12 Physics Notes Chapter 10: Wave Optics
What is ‘Superposition’?
The superposition principle states that when two or more waves overlap in space, the resultant disturbance is equal to the algebraic sum of the individual disturbances.
What is the ‘Huygen’s Principle’?
Huygens principle states that every point on a wavefront is in itself the source of spherical wavelets. The sum of these spherical wavelets forms the wavefront.
What are the properties of waves?
There are many properties that scientists use to describe waves. They include amplitude, frequency, period, wavelength, speed, and phase.