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Term: Newtons rings

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Term: Newtons rings

An interference pattern that appears as a series of concentric, alternating light and dark rings of colored light (when imaged in a color mode). This type of interference is caused when smooth transparent surfaces come into contact with small gaps of air between the surfaces. The light waves reflected from the top and bottom surfaces of the air film formed between the surfaces causing light rays to constructively or destructively interfere with each other. The areas where there is constructive interference will appear as light bands and the areas where there is destructive interference will appear as dark bands.

This often appears as an image defect when attempting to image transmissive media such as slides or negatives using glass carriers. The defect often is not apparent during imaging operations, and often is only noticed when making print enlargements.

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