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Definition of DIFFRACTION
: a modification which light undergoes especially in passing by the edges of opaque bodies or through narrow openings and in which the rays appear to be deflected; also: a similar modification of other waves (as sound waves) or of moving particles (as electrons)
: a modification which light undergoes in passing by the edges of opaque bodies or through narrow slits or in being reflected from ruled surfaces and in which the rays appear to be deflected and to produce fringes of parallel light and dark or colored bands; also: a similar modification of other waves (as sound waves)
Spreading of waves around obstacles. It occurs with water waves, sound, electromagnetic waves (seeelectromagnetic radiation), and small moving particles such as atoms, neutrons, and electrons, which show wavelike properties. When a beam of light falls on the edge of an object, it is bent slightly by the contact and causes a blur at the edge of the shadow of the object. Waves of long wavelength are diffracted more than those of short wavelength.