chp42_1 - PHY2061 R D Field Narrow Slit Diffraction Case 2...

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PHY2061 R. D. Field Department of Physics chp42_1.doc University of Florida Narrow Slit Diffraction Consider a plane wave with wavelength λ incident on a narrow slit of width W . Case 1 ( λ << W) corresponds to little or no diffraction with a bright spot on the screen of width not much larger than W. Case 2 (W << λ ) corresponds to a lot of diffraction resulting in the spreading out of the light across the screen in the form of a °diffraction pattern± with a central bright spot and a series of dark and light fringes similar to the two-slit interference pattern. Actually diffraction is a form of interference in which each of the infinite number of points along the wavefront acts as a point source of secondary spherical wavelets ( Huygen°s Principle ). Each of these waves has a different path length to the point P on the screen and hence they interfere with each other and produce
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