Dictionary:Huygens’ principle

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(hī g∂nz) The concept that every point on a wavefront can be regarded as the source of a subsequent wave (a Huygens’ wave). Destructive interference destroys the subsequent waves except along the common tangent. Thus a later wavefront is the envelope tangent to all the subsequent waves. See Figure H-9. Named for Christian Huygens (1629–1695), Dutch mathematician.