|1.||physics a deviation in the direction of a wave at the edge of an obstacle in its path|
|2.||any phenomenon caused by diffraction and interference of light, such as the formation of light and dark fringes by the passage of light through a small aperture|
|3.||deflection of sound waves caused by an obstacle or by nonhomogeneity of a medium|
|[C17: from New Latin diffractiō a breaking to pieces, from Latin diffringere to shatter, from dis- apart + frangere to break]|
diffraction dif·frac·tion (dĭ-frāk'shən)
Change in the directions and intensities of a group of waves after passing by an obstacle or through an aperture.
The breaking up of an incoming wave by some sort of geometrical structure — for example, a series of slits — followed by reconstruction of the wave by interference. Diffraction of light is characterized by alternate bands of light and dark or bands of different colors.