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PHYSICS 002C Lecture 15

PHYSICS 002C Lecture 15 - PHYSICS 002C Prelude Given that...

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PHYSICS 002C Lecture 15 May 4, 2009 Serway and Jewett Chapter 27 – Wave optics Prelude Given that : I. That light is a wave of the electromagnetic field predicted by Maxwell and experimentally demonstrated by Hertz; and II. That the superposition principle holds for any waves governed by a linear wave equation ; There is nothing remarkable or astonishing about the interference of light waves as exhibited in Young’s double slit Lloyd’s mirror Newton’s rings Michelson’s interferometer Rowland’s diffraction gratings Gabor’s holography Airy’s disk Poisson’s spot Fresnel’s zone plate Fabry and Pérot’s etalon Fraunhoffer’s diffraction These same dull phenomena (in the sense that they are totally explained by Maxwell’s equations) become totally spooky and inexplicable (in the sense that they are what they are, no more, no less) examples of wave-particle duality when we find out that they work for single particles of light (photons) when the intensity is turned way down. Wave optics is thus a straight forward application of Maxwell’s equations. We study wave optics to understand optical instruments and to be ready to appreciate the quantum world we live in. Chap 27.1 Conditions for interference Light beams interfere constructively or destructively when they overlap in time and space and their separate electric fields combine.
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