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There's a line in ncert that goes by like this:"Huygenes argued that the amplitude of the secondary wavelets is maximumin the forward direction and zero in the backward direction." What does this mean?

Asked by Sumayya 20th October 2015, 9:57 PM
Answered by Expert
In Huygen's principle, a source of wave emits a spherical wavefront. Now, each point of this wavefront is the source of a secondary disturbance and the wavelets emanating from these points spread out in all directions. These wavelets emanating from the wavefront are usually referred to as secondary wavelets.
Now, common logic says that if the wavefront is spherical, then it should spread in all the directions, forward as well as backwards. So, ideally a backwave should also be present. Hence, to remove this issue Huygen's assumed directly that "the amplitude of the secondary wavelets is maximum in the forward direction and zero in the backward direction". With this assumption he discarded the backwave. i.e. now the wavefront only moves in the forward direction.
Answered by Expert 21st October 2015, 11:34 AM
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