A crest is the point on a wave with the maximum value or upward displacement within a cycle. A crest is a point on the wave where the displacement of the medium is at a maximum. A trough is the opposite of a crest, so the minimum or lowest point in a cycle. A point on the wave is a trough if the displacement of the medium at that point is at a minimum
When the crests and troughs of two sine waves of equal amplitude and frequency intersect or collide, while being in phase with each other, the result is called constructive interference and the magnitudes double (above and below the line). When in antiphase – 180° out of phase – the result is destructive interference: the resulting wave is the undisturbed line having zero amplitude.
- Kinsman (1984) p. 38.
- Kinsman, Blair (1984), Wind Waves: Their Generation and Propagation on the Ocean Surface, Dover Publications, ISBN 0-486-49511-6, 704 pages.
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