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# light - Light Wave Interference Objective To see how light...

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Light Wave Interference Objective: To see how light waves interfere constructively and destructively. To observe interference and diffraction. To measure small apertures or objects from their diffraction patterns. Apparatus: Laser, slides (single-slit, double-slit, diffraction grating), slide holder clip and stand assembly, small projection screen with white paper, meter stick Introduction You may have learned from lecture that light has wave properties, and that two light waves of the same frequency can add up constructively (bright areas) or destructively (dark areas) depending on the path difference (the difference in distance from each light wave to the point where they meet) or their phase (the point in the wave cycle at a particular point in time – for instance, a wave described by the sine function leads a wave by the cosine by 90 degrees). Waves add up either when the original light wave is split up into two constituent waves (double slit interference) or when the same portions of the original light wave interfere with themselves (single slit or grating diffraction). The equations describing the position of the bright spots (maxima) or dark sports (minima) of light coming out of a slit or grating projected upon a screen far away are summarized as follows:

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Single Slit b sin =m ;m= 1,2,3,... Here b is the width of the single slit, is the angular deflection (as measured from the middle of the central maxima, at which the path difference is zero and there is maximum addition of the two waves) of the dark areas (minima) on a screen far away. is the wavelength of the incoming light and m is the order of the minima – the higher order
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