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dif•frac•tion



Pronunciation: (di-frak'shun), [key]
n. Physics.
1. the phenomenon exhibited by wave fronts that, passing the edge of an opaque body, are modulated, thereby causing a redistribution of energy within the front: it is detectable in light waves by the presence of a pattern of closely spaced dark and light bands (diffrac'tion pat"tern) at the edge of a shadow.
2. the bending of waves, esp. sound and light waves, around obstacles in their path.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

diffractdiffraction grating
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