Investigation 1: Wavefronts
The diagram shows three identical waves being emitted by three point sources. All points marked with the same letter are in phase. Join all points with the same letter.
What type of lines (straight, curved, etc.) do you get? How does this compare to the line that joins the sources?
Consider three point sources of waves. If each source emits waves isotropically (i.e. the same in all directions) we will get the situation shown in as shown in Figure Figure 1.
We define a wavefront as the imaginary line that joins waves that are in phase. These are indicated by the grey, vertical lines in Figure 1. The points that are in phase can be peaks, troughs or anything in between, it doesn't matter which points you choose as long as they are in phase.