PHYSICS 002C
Lecture 16
May 5, 2010
Serway and Jewett Chapter 27.46 – Wave optics
Clicker Q1:
Soap bubbles exhibit colors because of interference of light
that is
a) diffracted b) inflected c) deflected d) reflected e) refracted
from the two sides of the film.
Clicker Q2:
The intensity due to the electric field amplitudes of two
interfering light waves is obtained from
a) the square of the sum of the two intensities; b) the square of the sum of
the two amplitudes; c) the sum of the squares of the two amplitudes; d) the
square root of the sum of the squares of the two intensities; e) the square
of the square of the two amplitudes.
J. C. Maxwell 1864 theory
of light
Clicker Q3:
The divergence of a light beam of limited lateral extent is
called
a) deflection; b) infraction; c) diffraction; d) refraction; e)
reflection.
Summary of previous lecture
:
Given that
:
Light is a wave of the electromagnetic field that obeys the
superposition
principle
because it is governed by a
linear wave equation
.
Wave interference
becomes totally spooky and inexplicable (in the sense
that they are what they are, no more, no less) examples of
waveparticle
duality
when we find out that they work for
single particles of light
(photons)
when the intensity is turned way down.
Wave optics
is a straight forward application of Maxwell’s equations that
we study wave optics to understand optical instruments and to be ready to
appreciate the
quantum world
.
Roy J. Glauber Nobel Prize
2005
for
1963
theory
of
coherent light
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.
Low intensity
light waves pass through each other even though their
electric fields are combined
2
1
E
E
at the intersection because the wave
equation is
linear
.
Two light beams for which interference effects can be observed are said to
be
coherent
.
Otherwise the light is said to be
incoherent
.
A. A. Michelson Nobel Prize
1907
for
1887
experiment
disproving the Aether theory
The
coherence length
L
of the light source is the propagation distance
over which the phase difference becomes random
/
c
L
.
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 Spring '04
 mile
 Physics, Diffraction, Light, Michelson interferometer, path length

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