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Huygens principle

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noun Optics, Physics.
  1. the principle that all points on a wave front of light are sources of secondary waves and that surfaces tangential to these waves define the position of the wave front at any point in time.
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Origin of Huygens principle

First recorded in 1830–40; named after C. Huygens
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018