lecture19

Fundamentals of Physics, (Chapters 21- 44) (Volume 2)

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Chapter 36: Diffraction Tuesday, August 7, 2007
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Theories of Light There are two main theories of light that physicists have fought over for centuries. Particle Theory : Light is composed of a bunch of tiny particles called photons . This would explain discontinuous spectra of light. Wave Theory : Light is a propagating wave. This theory would account for phenomena such as diffraction and interference (which the Particle Theory fails to explain).
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Single Slit Diffraction When waves pass through a slit of width comparable to their wavelength, they fan out as they propagate and interfere, causing a pattern of maxima and minima on a screen. a sin θ = m λ I ( θ ) = I m sin α α 2 where α = πα λ sin θ
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Circular-Aperture Diffraction Diffraction can also occur with a circular hole or a lens. This produces a pattern of a disk surrounded by several bright concentric rings. The disk is called Airy’s Disk . First minimum: sin θ = 1 . 22 λ d
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Rayleigh’s Criterion The criteria for resolution of two objects is that the central
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