# Diffraction and interference of light

March 11, 2022

Feynman has come from heaven to answer your question! Listen to him:

No one has ever been able to define the difference between interference and diffraction satisfactorily. It is just a quest of usage, and there is no specific, important physical difference between them. The best we can do is, roughly speaking, is to say that when there are only a few sources, say two interference sources, then the result is usually called interference, but if there is a large number of them, it seems that the word diffraction is more often used.\$_1\$

To be more explicit read this passage from Ajoy Ghatak:

We should point out that there is not much of a difference between the phenomenon of interference and diffraction, indeed, interference corresponds to the situation when we consider the superposition of waves coming out from a number of point sources and diffraction corresponds to the situation when we consider waves coming out from an area sources like a circular or rectangular aperture or even a large number of rectangular apertures (like the diffraction grating). \$_2\$

Source: physics.stackexchange.com
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