E4-Interference and Diffraction of Light-Rev1

E4-Interference and Diffraction of Light-Rev1 - Nanyang...

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Nanyang Technological University School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Division of Physics and Applied Physics PAP 119 Physics Lab Ib Experiment 4: Interference and Diffraction of Light Background Di f raction of light occurs as it passes through a slit (Figure 1). The angles of the minima in the di f raction pattern are given by a sin θ = m λ, (1) where a is the slit width, θ is the angle from the center of the pattern to the m -th minimum, λ is the wavelength of the light and m = 0 , ± 1 , ± 2 , ± 3 ,... is the order of the superposition. Figure 1: Single slit di f raction pattern (left) and double slit interference pattern (right). Di f raction of light were ±rst carefully observed and characterized by Francesco Maria Grimaldi, who also coined the term di f raction, from the Latin di f ringere , ‘to break into pieces’, referring to light breaking up into di f erent directions. The results of Grimaldi’s observations were published posthumously in 1665. Isaac Newton studied these e f ects and attributed them to inflexion of light rays. James Gregory (1638–1675) observed the di f raction patterns caused by a bird feather, which was e f ectively the ±rst di f raction grating. When light passes through two slits (Figure 1), the two light rays emerging from the slits interfere
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E4-Interference and Diffraction of Light-Rev1 - Nanyang...

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