When are two waves said to be 'coherent'? What does that imply in terms of their Phase difference?Amplitudes?Path difference?

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enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Wave coherence occurs when two or more wave sources generate waves at the same time, having the same frequency, amplitude, and phase.  Coherent waves can also be described as "synchronous." The frequency is the rate at which a vibration occurs, the amplitude is the maximum extent of that vibration, and the phase refers to the degree of synchronicity between the vibrations.  Waves are considered incoherent or asynchronous if they have no stable phase relationship between them. Path difference describes whether waves will tend to interfere with each other constructively or destructively.   See more at the link for an animated demonstration: