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diffraction grating

A device that breaks up an electromagnetic wave into its different frequencies (wavelengths) by scattering them at different angles. For example, a series of thousands of scored lines in a glass plate diffracts light into a rainbow of colors. Lines of data pits on a CD give the same effect. See diffraction.



diffraction

The bending of electromagnetic waves as they pass around corners or through holes smaller than the wavelengths of the waves themselves. See diffraction grating and refraction.



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