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Chapter 33

Interference and Diffraction

Conceptual Problems

1 • A phase difference due to path-length difference is observed for

monochromatic visible light. Which phase difference requires the least

(minimum) path length difference? (a) 90

o

(b) 180

o

(c) 270

o

(d) the answer

depends on the wavelength of the light.

Determine the Concept The phase difference δ due to a path difference Δr are

related according to λ π δ r Δ = 2 . Therefore, the least path length difference

corresponds to the smallest phase difference. ( ) a is correct.

2 • Which of the following pairs of light sources are coherent: (a) two

candles, (b) one point source and its image in a plane mirror, (c) two pinholes

uniformly illuminated by the same point source, (d) two headlights of a car,

(e) two images of a point source due to reflection from the front and back surfaces

of a soap film.

Determine the Concept Coherent sources have a constant phase difference. The

pairs of light sources that satisfy this criterion are (b), (c), and (e).

3 • [SSM] The spacing between Newton’s rings decreases rapidly as the

diameter of the rings increases. Explain qualitatively why this occurs.

Determine the Concept The thickness of the air space between the flat glass and

the lens is approximately proportional to the square of d, the diameter of the ring.

Consequently, the separation between adjacent rings is proportional to 1/d.

4 • If the angle of a wedge-shaped air film, such as that in Example 32-2 is

too large, fringes are not observed. Why?

Determine the Concept There are two possible reasons that fringes might not be

observed. (1) The distance between adjacent fringes is so small that the fringes

are not resolved by the eye. (2) Twice the thickness of the air space is greater than

the coherence length of the light. If this is the case, fringes would be observed in

the region close to the point where the thickness of the air space approaches zero.

5 • Why must a film that is used to observe interference colors be thin?

Determine the Concept Colors are observed when the light reflected off the front

and back surfaces of the film interfere destructively for some wavelengths and

Chapter 33

1060

constructively for other wavelengths. For this interference to occur, the phase

difference between the light reflected off the front and back surfaces of the film

must be constant. This means that twice the thickness of the film must be less

than the coherence length of the light. The film is called a thin film if twice its

thickness is less than the coherence length of the light.

6 • A loop of wire is dipped in soapy water and held up so that the soap

film is vertical. (a) Viewed by reflection with white light, the top of the film

appears black. Explain why. (b) Below the black region are colored bands. Is the

first band red or violet?

(a) The phase change due to reflection from the front surface of the film is 180°;

the phase change due to reflection from the back surface of the film is 0°. As the

film thins toward the top, the phase change due to the path length difference

between the two reflected waves (the phase difference associated with the film’s

thickness) becomes negligible and the two reflected waves interfere destructively.

(b) The first constructive interference will arise when twice the thickness of the

film is equal to half the wavelength of the color with the shortest wavelength.

Therefore, the first band will be violet (shortest visible wavelength).

7 • [SSM] A two-slit interference pattern is formed using

monochromatic laser light with a wavelength of 640 nm. At the second maximum

from the central maximum, what is the path-length difference between the light

coming from each of the slits? (a) 640 nm (b) 320 nm (c) 960 nm (d) 1280 nm.

Determine the Concept For constructive interference, the path difference is an

integer multiple of λ; that is, λ m r = Δ . For m =2, ( ) nm 640 2 = Δr . ( ) d is correct.

8 • A two-slit interference pattern is formed using monochromatic laser

light with a wavelength of 640 nm. At the first minimum from the central

maximum, what is the path-length difference between the light coming from each

of the slits? (a) 640 nm (b) 320 nm (c) 960 nm (d) 1280 nm.

Determine the Concept For destructive interference, the path difference is an

odd-integer multiple of λ

2

1

; that is ( ) ... , 5 , 3 , 1 ,

2

1

= = Δ m m r λ . For the first

minimum, m =1 and ( ) nm 320 nm 640

2

1

= = Δr . ( ) b is correct.

9 • A two-slit interference pattern is formed using monochromatic laser

light with a wavelength of 450 nm. What happens to the distance between the first

maximum and the central maximum as the two slits are moved closer together?

(a) The distance increases. (b) The distance decreases. (c) The distance remains

the same.

Interference and Diffraction

1061

Determine the Concept The relationship between the slit separation d and the

angular position θ

m

of each maximum is given by ... , 2 , 1 , 0 , sin = = m m d

m

λ θ

(Equation 33-2). Because d and sinθ

m

are inversely proportional for a given

wavelength and interference maximum (value of m), decreasing d increases sinθ

m

and θ

m

. ( ) a is correct.

10 • A two-slit interference pattern is formed using two different

monochromatic lasers, one green and one red. Which color light has its first

maximum closer to the central maximum? (a) Green, (b) red, (c) both maxima are

in the same location.

Determine the Concept The relationship between the slit separation d, the

angular position θ

m

of each maximum, and the wavelength of the light

illuminating the slits is given by ... , 2 , 1 , 0 , sin = = m m d

m

λ θ (Equation 33-2).

Because λ and sinθ

m

are directly proportional for a given interference maximum

(value of m) and the wavelength of green light is shorter than the wavelength of

red light, ( ) a is correct.

11 • A single slit diffraction pattern is formed using monochromatic laser

light with a wavelength of 450 nm. What happens to the distance between the first

maximum and the central maximum as the slit is made narrower? (a) The distance

increases. (b) The distance decreases. (c) The distance remains the same.

Determine the Concept The relationship between the slit width a, the angular

position θ

m

of each maximum, and the wavelength of the light illuminating the

slit is given by ... , 3 , 2 , 1 , sin = = m m a

m

λ θ (Equation 33-11). Because a and

sinθ

m

are inversely proportional for a given diffraction maximum (value of m),

narrowing the slit increases

m

θ sin and θ

m

. ( ) a is correct.

12 • Equation 33-2 which is d sin θ

m

=mλ, and Equation 33-11, which is

a sin θ

m

=mλ, are sometimes confused. For each equation, define the symbols

and explain the equation’s application.

Determine the Concept Equation 33-2 expresses the condition for an intensity

maximum in two-slit interference. Here d is the slit separation, λ the

wavelength of the light, m an integer, and θ

m

the angle at which the interference

maximum appears. Equation 33-11 expresses the condition for an intensity

minimum in single-slit diffraction. Here a is the width of the slit, λ the

wavelength of the light, and θ

m

the angle at which the minimum appears, and m is

a nonzero integer.

Chapter 33

1062

13 • When a diffraction grating is illuminated by white light, the first-order

maximum of green light (a) is closer to the central maximum than the first-order

maximum of red light. (b) is closer to the central maximum than the first-order

maximum of blue light. (c) overlaps the second-order maximum of red light.

(d) overlaps the second-order maximum of blue light.

Picture the Problem We can solve λ θ m d = sin for θ with m =1 to express the

location of the first-order maximum as a function of the wavelength of the light.

The interference maxima in a

diffraction pattern are at angles θ

given by:

λ θ m d = sin

where d is the separation of the slits

and m =0, 1, 2, …

Solve for the angular location θ

1

of the first-order maximum :

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

−

d

λ

θ

1

1

sin

Because λ

green light

<λ

red light

:

light red light green

θ θ < and ) (a is correct.

14 • A double-slit interference experiment is set up in a chamber that can be

evacuated. Using light from a helium-neon laser, an interference pattern is

observed when the chamber is open to air. As the chamber is evacuated, one will

note that (a) the interference fringes remain fixed. (b) the interference fringes

move closer together. (c) the interference fringes move farther apart. (d) the

interference fringes disappear completely.

Determine the Concept

The distance on the screen to mth

bright fringe is given by:

d

L

m y

n

m

λ

=

where L is the distance from the slits to

the screen,

n

λ is the wavelength of the

light in a medium whose index of

refraction is n, and d is the separation

of the slits.

The separation of the interference

fringes is given by:

( )

d

L

d

L

m

d

L

m y y

n n n

m m

λ λ λ

= − + = −

+

1

1

Because the index of refraction of a vacuum is slightly less than the index of

refraction of air, the removal of air increases

n

λ and, hence, y

m

− y

m−1

. ) (c is

correct.

Interference and Diffraction

1063

15 • [SSM] True or false:

(a) When waves interfere destructively, the energy is converted into heat

energy.

(b) Interference patterns are observed only if the relative phases of the waves

that superimpose remain constant.

(c) In the Fraunhofer diffraction pattern for a single slit, the narrower the slit,

the wider the central maximum of the diffraction pattern.

(d) A circular aperture can produce both a Fraunhofer diffraction pattern and a

Fresnel diffraction pattern.

(e) The ability to resolve two point sources depends on the wavelength of the

light.

(a) False. When destructive interference of light waves occurs, the energy is no

longer distributed evenly. For example, light from a two-slit device forms a

pattern with very bright and very dark parts. There is practically no energy at the

dark fringes and a great deal of energy at the bright fringe. The total energy over

the entire pattern equals the energy from one slit plus the energy from the second

slit. Interference re-distributes the energy.

(b) True.

(c) True. The width of the central maximum in the diffraction pattern is given by

a

m

m

λ

θ

1

sin

−

= where a is the width of the slit. Hence, the narrower the slit, the

wider the central maximum of the diffraction pattern.

(d) True.

(e) True. The critical angle for the resolution of two sources is directly

proportional to the wavelength of the light emitted by the sources (

D

λ

α 22 . 1

c

= ).

16 • You observe two very closely-spaced sources of white light through a

circular opening using various filters. Which color filter is most likely to prevent

your resolving the images on your retinas as coming from two distinct sources?

(a) red (b) yellow (c) green (d) blue (e) The filter choice is irrelevant.

Chapter 33

1064

Determine the Concept The condition for the resolution of the two sources is

given by Rayleigh’s criterion: D

c

λ α 22 . 1 = (Equation 33-25), where α

c

is the

critical angular separation and D is the diameter of the aperture. The larger the

critical angle required for resolution, the less likely it is that you can resolve the

sources as being two distinct sources. Because α

c

and λ are directly proportional,

the filter that passes the shorter wavelength light would be most likely to resolve

the sources and the longer wavelength (red) would be most likely to prevent

resolving the sources. ( ) a is correct.

17 •• Explain why the ability to distinguish the two headlights of an

oncoming car, at a given distance, is easier for the human eye at night than during

daylight hours. Assume the headlights of the oncoming car are on during both

daytime and nighttime hours.

Determine the Concept The condition for the resolution of the two sources is

given by Rayleigh’s criterion: D

c

λ α 22 . 1 = (Equation 33-25), where α

c

is the

critical angular separation, D is the diameter of the aperture, and λ is the

wavelength of the light coming from the objects, in this case headlights, to be

resolved. Because the diameter of the pupils of your eyes are larger at night, the

critical angle is smaller at night, which means that at night you can resolve the

light as coming from two distinct sources when they are at a greater distance.

Estimation and Approximation

18 • It is claimed that the Great Wall of China is the only man made object

that can be seen from space with the naked eye. Check to see if this claim is true,

based on the resolving power of the human eye. Assume the observers are in low-

Earth orbit that has an altitude of about 250 km.

Picture the Problem We’ll assume that the diameter of the pupil of the eye is

5.0 mm and use the best-case scenario (the minimum resolvable width varies

directly with the wavelength of the light reflecting from the object) that the

wavelength of light is 400 nm (the lower limit for the human eye). Then we can

use the expression for the minimum angular separation of two objects than can be

resolved by the eye and the relationship between this angle and the width of an

object and the distance from which it is viewed to support the claim.

Relate the width w of an object that

can be seen at an altitude h to the

critical angular separation α

c

:

h

w

=

c

tanα ⇒

c

tanα h w =

Interference and Diffraction

1065

The minimum angular separation α

c

of two point objects that can just be

resolved by an eye depends on the

diameter D of the eye and the

wavelength λ of light:

D

λ

α 22 . 1

c

=

Substitute for α

c

in the expression

for w to obtain:

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

D

h w

λ

22 . 1 tan

Substitute numerical values and evaluate w

min

for an altitude of 250 km:

( ) m 24

mm 0 . 5

nm 400

22 . 1 tan km 250

min

≈

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

= w

This claim is probably false. Because the minimum width that is resolvable from

low-Earth orbit (250 km) is 24 m and the width of the Great Wall is 5 to 8 m high

and 5 m wide, so this claim is likely false. However, it is easily seen using

binoculars, and pictures can be taken of it using a camera. This is because both

binoculars and cameras have apertures that are larger than the pupil of the human

eye. (The Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei reported that he was not able to see the

wall with the naked eye during the first Chinese manned space flight in 2003.)

19 •• [SSM] (a) Estimate how close an approaching car at night on a flat,

straight stretch of highway must be before its headlights can be distinguished

from the single headlight of a motorcycle. (b) Estimate how far ahead of you a

car is if its two red taillights merge to look as if they were one.

Picture the Problem Assume a separation of 1.5 m between typical automobile

headlights and tail lights, a nighttime pupil diameter of 5.0 mm, 550 nm for the

wavelength of the light (as an average) emitted by the headlights, 640 nm for red

taillights, and apply the Rayleigh criterion.

(a) The Rayleigh criterion is given

by Equation 33-25:

D

c

λ

α 22 . 1 =

where D is the separation of the

headlights (or tail lights).

The critical angular separation is

also given by:

L

d

= α

where d is the separation of head lights

(or tail lights) and L is the distance to

approaching or receding automobile.

Chapter 33

1066

Equate these expressions for α

c

to

obtain:

D L

d λ

22 . 1 = ⇒

λ 22 . 1

Dd

L =

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate L:

( )( )

( )

km 11

nm 550 22 . 1

m 5 . 1 mm 0 . 5

≈ = L

(b) For red light: ( )( )

( )

km .6 9

nm 640 22 . 1

m 5 . 1 mm 0 . 5

≈ = L

20 •• A small loudspeaker is located at a large distance to the east from you.

The loudspeaker is driven by a sinusoidal current whose frequency can be varied.

Estimate the lowest frequency for which your ears would receive the sound waves

exactly out of phase when you are facing north.

Picture the Problem If your ears receive the sound exactly out of phase, the

waves arriving at your ear that is farthest from the speaker must be traveling one-

half wavelength farther than the waves arriving at your ear that is nearest the

speaker. The lowest frequency corresponds to the longest wavelength. Assume

that the speaker and your ears are on the same line and let the distance between

your ears be about 20 cm. Take the speed of sound in air to be 343 m/s.

The frequency received by your ears

is given by:

λ

v

f =

Let Δr be the distance between your

ears (the path difference) to obtain:

λ

2

1

= Δr ⇒ r Δ = 2 λ

Substituting for λ yields:

r

v

f

Δ

=

2

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate f:

( )

kHz 86 . 0

cm 20 2

m/s 343

= = f

or between 0.80 and 0.90 kHz.

21 •• [SSM] Estimate the maximum distance a binary star system could be

resolvable by the human eye. Assume the two stars are about fifty times further

apart than Earth and Sun are. Neglect atmospheric effects. (A test similar to this

″eye test″ was used in ancient Rome to test for eyesight acuity before entering the

army. A normal eye could just barely resolve two well-known close-together stars

in the sky. Anyone who could not tell there were two stars was rejected. In this

case, the stars were not a binary system, but the principle is the same.)

Interference and Diffraction

1067

Picture the Problem Assume that the diameter of a pupil at night is 5.0 mm and

that the wavelength of light is in the middle of the visible spectrum at about 550

nm. We can use the Rayleigh criterion for the separation of two sources and the

geometry of the Earth-binary star system to derive an expression for the distance

to the binary stars.

If the distance between the binary

stars is represented by d and the

Earth-star distance by L, then their

angular separation is given by:

L

d

= α

The critical angular separation of the

two sources is given by the Rayleigh

criterion:

D

c

λ

α 22 . 1 =

For α =α

c

:

D L

d λ

22 . 1 = ⇒

λ 22 . 1

Dd

L =

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate L:

( )( )( )

( )

y 5.9

m 10 9.461

y 1

km 10 59 . 5

nm 550 22 . 1

m 10 5 . 1 50 mm 0 . 5

15

13

11

⋅

×

⋅

× × ≈

×

=

c

c

L

Phase Difference and Coherence

22 • Light of wavelength 500 nm is incident normally on a film of water

1.00 μm thick. (a) What is the wavelength of the light in the water? (b) How

many wavelengths are contained in the distance 2t, where t is the thickness of the

film? (c) What is the phase difference between the wave reflected from the top of

the air–water interface and the wave reflected from the bottom of the water–air

interface in the region where the two reflected waves superpose?

Picture the Problem The wavelength of light in a medium whose index of

refraction is n is the ratio of the wavelength of the light in air divided by n. The

number of wavelengths of light contained in a given distance is the ratio of the

distance to the wavelength of light in the given medium. The difference in phase

between the two waves is the sum of a π phase shift in the reflected wave and a

phase shift due to the additional distance traveled by the wave reflected from the

bottom of the water−air interface.

(a) Express the wavelength of light

in water in terms of the wavelength

of light in air:

nm 376

1.33

nm 500

water

air

water

= = =

n

λ

λ

Chapter 33

1068

(b) Relate the number of

wavelengths N to the thickness t of

the film and the wavelength of light

in water:

( )

32 . 5

nm 376

m 00 . 1 2 2

water

= = =

μ

λ

t

N

(c) Express the phase difference as

the sum of the phase shift due to

reflection and the phase shift due to

the additional distance traveled by

the wave reflected from the bottom

of the water−air interface:

N

t

π π π

λ

π

δ δ δ

2 2

2

water

traveled distance additional reflection

+ = + =

+ =

Substitute for N and evaluate δ:

( )

rad 6 . 11

rad 64 . 11 rad 32 . 5 2 rad

π

π π π δ

=

= + =

or, subtracting 11.64π rad from 12π rad,

rad 1 . 1 rad 4 . 0 = = π δ

23 •• [SSM] Two coherent microwave sources both produce waves of

wavelength 1.50 cm. The sources are located in the z =0 plane, one at

x =0, y =15.0 cm and the other at x =3.00 cm, y =14.0 cm. If the sources are in

phase, find the difference in phase between these two waves for a receiver located

at the origin.

Picture the Problem The difference in phase depends on the path difference

according to π

λ

δ 2

r Δ

= . The path difference is the difference in the distances of

(0, 15.0 cm) and (3.00 cm, 14.0 cm) from the origin.

Relate a path difference Δr to a

phase shift δ:

π

λ

δ 2

r Δ

=

The path difference Δr is:

( ) ( )

cm 682 . 0

cm 0 . 14 cm 3.00 cm 0 . 15

2 2

=

+ − = r Δ

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate δ:

rad .9 2 2

cm 50 . 1

cm 682 . 0

≈

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

= π δ

Interference in Thin Films

24 • A wedge-shaped film of air is made by placing a small slip of paper

between the edges of two flat plates of glass. Light of wavelength 700 nm is

Interference and Diffraction

1069

incident normally on the glass plates, and interference fringes are observed by

reflection. (a) Is the first fringe near the point of contact of the plates dark or

bright? Why? (b) If there are five dark fringes per centimeter, what is the angle of

the wedge?

Picture the Problem Because the mth fringe occurs when the path difference 2t

equals m wavelengths, we can express the additional distance traveled by the light

in air as an mλ. The thickness of the wedge, in turn, is related to the angle of the

wedge and the distance from its vertex to the mth fringe.

(a) The first fringe is dark because the phase difference due to reflection by the

bottom surface of the top plate and the top surface of the bottom plate is 180°

(b) The mth fringe occurs when the

path difference 2t equals m

wavelengths:

λ m t = 2

Relate the thickness of the air wedge

to the angle of the wedge: x

t

= θ ⇒ θ x t =

where we’ve used a small-angle

approximation to replace an arc length

by the length of a chord.

Substitute for t to obtain:

λ θ m x = 2 ⇒ λ

λ

θ

x

m

x

m

2

1

2

= =

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate θ :

( ) rad 10 75 . 1 nm 700

cm

5

2

1

4 −

× =

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

= θ

25 •• [SSM] The diameters of fine fibers can be accurately measured using

interference patterns. Two optically flat pieces of glass of length L are arranged

with the wire between them, as shown in Figure 33-40. The setup is illuminated

by monochromatic light, and the resulting interference fringes are observed.

Suppose that L is 20.0 cm and that yellow sodium light (wavelength of 590 nm)

is used for illumination. If 19 bright fringes are seen along this 20.0-cm distance,

what are the limits on the diameter of the wire? Hint: The nineteenth fringe might

not be right at the end, but you do not see a twentieth fringe at all.

Picture the Problem The condition that one sees m fringes requires that the path

difference between light reflected from the bottom surface of the top slide and the

top surface of the bottom slide is an integer multiple of a wavelength of the light.

Chapter 33

1070

The mth fringe occurs when the path

difference 2d equals m wavelengths:

λ m d = 2 ⇒

2

λ m

d =

Because the nineteenth (but not the

twentieth) bright fringe can be seen,

the limits on d must be:

( ) ( )

2 2

2

1

2

1

λ λ

+ < < − m d m

where m =19

Substitute numerical values to

obtain:

( ) ( )

2

nm 590

19

2

nm 590

19

2

1

2

1

+ < < − d

or

m 8 . 5 m 5 . 5 μ μ < < d

26 •• Light that has a wavelength equal to 600 nm is used to illuminate two

glass plates at normal incidence. The plates are 22 cm in length, touch at one end,

and are separated at the other end by a wire that has a radius of 0.025 mm. How

many bright fringes appear along the total length of the plates?

Picture the Problem The light reflected from the top surface of the bottom plate

(wave 2 in the diagram) is phase shifted relative to the light reflected from the

bottom surface of the top plate (wave 1 in the diagram). This phase difference is

the sum of a phase shift of π (equivalent to a λ/2 path difference) resulting from

reflection plus a phase shift due to the additional distance traveled.

t

1 2

wire

glass plate

glass plate

Relate the extra distance traveled by

wave 2 to the distance equivalent to

the phase change due to reflection

and to the condition for constructive

interference:

... , 3 , 2 , 2

2

1

λ λ λ λ = + t

or

... , , , 2

2

5

2

3

2

1

λ λ λ = t

and

( )λ

2

1

2 + = m t where m =0, 1, 2, …,

0≤ t ≤ 2r and λ is the wavelength of

light in air.

Interference and Diffraction

1071

Solving for m gives:

m =

2t

λ

−

1

2

where m =0, 1, 2, …and

0≤ t ≤ 2r

Solve for the highest value of m:

m

max

= int

2 2r ( )

λ

−

1

2

⎛

⎝

⎜

⎞

⎠

⎟

= int

4r

λ

−

1

2

⎛

⎝

⎜

⎞

⎠

⎟

where r is the radius of the wire.

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate m:

m

max

= int

4 0.025mm ( )

600nm

−

1

2

⎛

⎝

⎜

⎞

⎠

⎟

= int 166.2 ( )= 166

Because we start counting from

m =0, the number of bright fringes is

m

max

+1.

N =m

max

+1 =167

27 •• A thin film having an index of refraction of 1.50 is surrounded by air.

It is illuminated normally by white light. Analysis of the reflected light shows that

the wavelengths 360, 450, and 602 nm are the only missing wavelengths in or

near the visible portion of the spectrum. That is, for these wavelengths, there is

destructive interference. (a) What is the thickness of the film? (b) What visible

wavelengths are brightest in the reflected interference pattern? (c) If this film

were resting on glass with an index of refraction of 1.60, what wavelengths in the

visible spectrum would be missing from the reflected light?

Picture the Problem (a) We can use the condition for destructive interference in

a thin film to find the thickness of the film. (b) and (c) Once we’ve found the

thickness of the film, we can use the condition for constructive interference to

find the wavelengths in the visible portion of the spectrum that will be brightest in

the reflected interference pattern and the condition for destructive interference to

find the wavelengths of light missing from the reflected light when the film is

placed on glass with an index of refraction greater than that of the film.

Chapter 33

1072

(a) Express the condition for

destructive interference in the

thin film:

... , , , 2

2

5

2

3

2

1

2

1

' ' ' ' t λ λ λ λ = +

or

... , 3 , 2 , 2 ' ' ' t λ λ λ =

or

n

m ' m t

λ

λ = = 2 (1)

where m =1, 2, 3, … and λ′ is the

wavelength of the light in the film.

Solving for λ yields:

m

nt 2

= λ

Substitute for the missing

wavelengths to obtain: m

nt 2

nm 450 = and

1

2

nm 360

+

=

m

nt

Divide the first of these equations

by the second and simplify to

obtain:

m

m

m

nt

m

nt

1

1

2

2

nm 360

nm 450 +

=

+

=

Solving for m gives:

nm 450 for 4 = = λ m

Solve equation (1) for t to obtain:

n

m

t

2

λ

=

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate t:

( )

( )

nm 600

50 . 1 2

nm 450 4

= = t

(b) The condition for constructive

interference in the thin film is:

,... 3 , 2 , 2

2

1

' ' ' ' t λ λ λ λ = +

or

( ) ' m ' ' ' t λ λ λ λ

2

1

2

5

2

3

2

1

,... , , 2 + = =

where λ′ is the wavelength of light in

the oil and m =0, 1, 2, …

Substitute for λ′ to obtain:

( )

n

m t

λ

2

1

2 + = ⇒

2

1

2

+

=

m

nt

λ

where n is the index of refraction of the

film.

Substitute numerical values and

simplify to obtain:

( )( )

2

1

2

1

nm 1800 nm 600 50 . 1 2

+

=

+

=

m m

λ

Interference and Diffraction

1073

Substitute numerical values for m and evaluate λ to obtain the following table:

m 0 1 2 3 4 5

λ (nm) 3600 1200 720 514 400 327

From the table, we see that the only wavelengths in the visible spectrum are 720

nm, 514 nm, and 400 nm.

(c) Because the index of refraction

of the glass is greater than that of the

film, the light reflected from the

film-glass interface will be shifted

by λ

2

1

(as is the wave reflected from

the top surface) and the condition for

destructive interference becomes:

... , , , 2

2

5

2

3

2

1

' ' ' t λ λ λ =

or

( )

n

m t

λ

2

1

2 + =

where n is the index of refraction of the

film and m =0, 1, 2, …

Solving for λ yields:

2

1

2

+

=

m

nt

λ

Substitute numerical values and

simplify to obtain:

( )( )

2

1

2

1

nm 1800 nm 600 5 . 1 2

+

=

+

=

m m

λ

Substitute numerical values for m and evaluate λ to obtain the following table:

m 0 1 2 3 4 5

λ (nm) 3600 1200 720 514 400 327

From the table we see that the missing wavelengths in the visible spectrum are

720 nm, 514 nm, and 400 nm.

28 •• A drop of oil (refractive index of 1.22) floats on water (refractive index

of 1.33). When reflected light is observed from above, as shown in Figure 33-41

what is the thickness of the drop at the point where the second red fringe, counting

from the edge of the drop, is observed? Assume red light has a wavelength of

650 nm.

Picture the Problem Because there is a λ

2

1

phase change due to reflection at

both the air-oil and oil-water interfaces, the condition for constructive interference

is that twice the thickness of the oil film equal an integer multiple of the

wavelength of light in the film.

Chapter 33

1074

The condition for constructive

interference is:

,... 3 , 2 , 2 ' ' ' t λ λ λ =

or

' m t λ = 2 (1)

where λ′ is the wavelength of light in

the oil and m =1, 2, 3, …

Substitute for λ′ to obtain:

n

m t

λ

= 2 ⇒

n

m

t

2

λ

=

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate t:

( )( )

( )

nm 533

22 . 1 2

nm 650 2

= = t

29 •• [SSM] A film of oil that has an index of refraction of 1.45 rests on

an optically flat piece of glass with an index of refraction of 1.60. When

illuminated by white light at normal incidence, light of wavelengths 690 nm and

460 nm is predominant in the reflected light. Determine the thickness of the oil

film.

Picture the Problem Because there is a λ

2

1

phase change due to reflection at

both the air-oil and oil-glass interfaces, the condition for constructive interference

is that twice the thickness of the oil film equal an integer multiple of the

wavelength of light in the film.

Express the condition for

constructive interference:

' m ' ' ' t λ λ λ λ = = ,... 3 , 2 , 2 (1)

where λ′ is the wavelength of light in

the oil and m =0, 1, 2, …

Substitute for λ′ to obtain:

n

m t

λ

= 2 ⇒

m

nt 2

= λ

where n is the index of refraction of the

oil.

Substitute for the predominant

wavelengths to obtain: m

nt 2

nm 690 = and

1

2

nm 460

+

=

m

nt

Divide the first of these equations by

the second and simplify to obtain:

m

m

m

nt

m

nt

1

1

2

2

nm 460

nm 690 +

=

+

= ⇒ 2 = m

Solve equation (1) for t:

n

m

t

2

λ

=

Interference and Diffraction

1075

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate t:

( )( )

( )

nm 476

45 . 1 2

nm 690 2

= = t

30 •• A film of oil that has an index of refraction 1.45 floats on water. When

illuminated with white light at normal incidence, light of wavelengths 700 nm and

500 nm is predominant in the reflected light. Determine the thickness of the oil

film.

Picture the Problem Because the index of refraction of air is less than that of the

oil, there is a phase shift of π rad ( λ

2

1

) in the light reflected at the air-oil

interface. Because the index of refraction of the oil is greater than that of the

glass, there is no phase shift in the light reflected from the oil-glass interface. We

can use the condition for constructive interference to determine m for λ =700 nm

and then use this value in our equation describing constructive interference to find

the thickness t of the oil film.

Express the condition for

constructive interference between

the waves reflected from the air-

oil interface and the oil-glass

interface:

,... 3 , 2 , 2

2

1

' ' ' ' t λ λ λ λ = +

or

( ) ' m ' ' ' t λ λ λ λ

2

1

2

5

2

3

2

1

,... , , 2 + = = (1)

where λ′ is the wavelength of light in

the oil and m =0, 1, 2, …

Substitute for ' λ and solve for λ

to obtain:

2

1

2

+

=

m

nt

λ

Substitute the predominant

wavelengths to obtain:

2

1

2

nm 700

+

=

m

nt

and

2

3

2

nm 500

+

=

m

nt

Divide the first of these equations

by the second to obtain:

2

1

2

3

2

3

2

1

2

2

nm 500

nm 700

+

+

=

+

+

=

m

m

m

nt

m

nt

⇒ 2 = m

Solve equation (1) for t:

( )

n

m t

2

2

1

λ

+ =

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate t:

( )

( )

nm 603

45 . 1 2

nm 700

2

2

1

= + = t

Chapter 33

1076

Newton’s Rings

31 •• [SSM] A Newton’s ring apparatus consists of a plano-convex glass

lens with radius of curvature R that rests on a flat glass plate, as shown in Figure

33-42. The thin film is air of variable thickness. The apparatus is illuminated from

above by light from a sodium lamp that has a wavelength of 590 nm. The pattern

is viewed by reflected light. (a) Show that for a thickness t the condition for a

bright (constructive) interference ring is ( )λ

2

1

2 + = m t where m =0, 1, 2, . . .

(b) Show that for t <<R, the radius r of a fringe is related to t by

r = 2tR .

(c) For a radius of curvature of 10.0 m and a lens diameter of 4.00 cm. How many

bright fringes would you see in the reflected light? (d) What would be the

diameter of the sixth bright fringe? (e) If the glass used in the apparatus has an

index of refraction n =1.50 and water replaces the air between the two pieces of

glass, explain qualitatively the changes that will take place in the bright-fringe

pattern.

Picture the Problem This arrangement is essentially identical to a ″thin film″

configuration, except that the ″film″ is air. A phase change of 180° ( λ

2

1

) occurs

at the top of the flat glass plate. We can use the condition for constructive

interference to derive the result given in (a) and use the geometry of the lens on

the plate to obtain the result given in (b). We can then use these results in the

remaining parts of the problem.

(a) The condition for

constructive interference is:

,... 3 , 2 , 2

2

1

λ λ λ λ = + t

or

( )λ λ λ λ

2

1

2

5

2

3

2

1

,... , , 2 + = = m t

where λ is the wavelength of light in air

and m =0, 1, 2, …

Solving for t yields:

( ) ... , 2 , 1 , 0 ,

2

2

1

= + = m m t

λ

(1)

(b) From Figure 33-42 we have:

( )

2 2 2

R t R r = − +

or

2 2 2 2

2 t Rt R r R + − + =

For t <<R we can neglect the last

term to obtain:

Rt R r R 2

2 2 2

− + ≈ ⇒ Rt r 2 = (2)

(c) Square equation (2) and

substitute for t from equation (1) to

obtain:

( ) λ R m r

2

1

2

+ = ⇒

2

1

2

− =

λ R

r

m

Interference and Diffraction

1077

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate m:

( )

( )( )

fringes. bright 68 be will there so and

67

2

1

nm 590 m 0 . 10

cm 00 . 2

2

= − = m

(d) The diameter of the m

th

fringe is:

( ) λ R m r D

2

1

2 2 + = =

Noting that m =5 for the sixth

fringe, substitute numerical values

and evaluate D:

( )( )( )

cm 14 . 1

nm 590 m 0 . 10 5 2

2

1

=

+ = D

(e) The wavelength of the light in the film becomes λ

air

/n = 444 nm. The

separation between fringes is reduced (the fringes would become more closely

spaced.) and the number of fringes that will be seen is increased by a factor of

1.33.

32 •• A plano-convex glass lens of radius of curvature 2.00 m rests on an

optically flat glass plate. The arrangement is illuminated from above with

monochromatic light of 520-nm wavelength. The indexes of refraction of the lens

and plate are 1.60. Determine the radii of the first and second bright fringe from

the center in the reflected light.

Picture the Problem This arrangement is essentially identical to a ″thin film″

configuration, except that the ″film″ is air. A phase change of 180° ( λ

2

1

) occurs

at the top of the flat glass plate. We can use the condition for constructive

interference and the results from Problem 31(b) to determine the radii of the first

and second bright fringes in the reflected light.

The condition for constructive

interference is:

,... 3 , 2 , 2

2

1

λ λ λ λ = + t

or

( )λ λ λ λ

2

1

2

5

2

3

2

1

,... , , 2 + = = m t

where λ is the wavelength of light in air

and m =0, 1, 2, …

Solving for t gives:

( ) ... , 2 , 1 , 0 ,

2

2

1

= + = m m t

λ

In Problem 31(b) it was shown

that:

tR r 2 =

Substitute for t to obtain:

( ) R m r λ

2

1

+ =

Chapter 33

1078

The first fringe corresponds to

m =0:

( )( ) mm 721 . 0 m 00 . 2 nm 520

2

1

= = r

The second fringe corresponds to

m =1:

( )( ) mm 25 . 1 m 00 . 2 nm 520

2

3

= = r

33 ••• Suppose that before the lens of Problem 32 is placed on the plate, a

film of oil of refractive index 1.82 is deposited on the plate. What will then be the

radii of the first and second bright fringes?

Picture the Problem This arrangement is essentially identical to a ″thin film″

configuration, except that the ″film″ is oil. A phase change of 180° ( λ

2

1

) occurs

at lens-oil interface. We can use the condition for constructive interference and

the results from Problem 31(b) to determine the radii of the first and second

bright fringes in the reflected light.

The condition for constructive

interference is:

,... 3 , 2 , 2

2

1

' ' ' ' t λ λ λ λ = +

or

( ) ' m ' ' ' t λ λ λ λ

2

1

2

5

2

3

2

1

,... , , 2 + = =

where λ′ is the wavelength of light in

the oil and m =0, 1, 2, …

Substitute for λ′ and solve for t:

( ) ... , 2 , 1 , 0 ,

2

2

1

= + = m

n

m t

λ

where λ is the wavelength of light in air.

In Problem 31(b) it was shown that:

tR r 2 =

Substitute for t to obtain:

( )

n

R

m r

λ

2

1

+ =

The first fringe corresponds to

m =0:

( )( )

mm 535 . 0

82 . 1

m 00 . 2 nm 520

2

1

= = r

The second fringe corresponds to

m =1:

( )( )

mm 926 . 0

82 . 1

m 00 . 2 nm 520

2

3

= = r

Two-Slit Interference Patterns

34 • Two narrow slits separated by 1.00 mm are illuminated by light of

wavelength 600 nm, and the interference pattern is viewed on a screen 2.00 m

Interference and Diffraction

1079

away. Calculate the number of bright fringes per centimeter on the screen in the

region near the center fringe.

Picture the Problem The number of bright fringes per unit distance is the

reciprocal of the separation of the fringes. We can use the expression for the

distance on the screen to the mth fringe to find the separation of the fringes.

Express the number N of bright

fringes per centimeter in terms of

the separation of the fringes:

y

N

Δ

=

1

(1)

Express the distance on the screen to

the mth and (m +1)st bright fringe:

d

L

m y

m

λ

= and ( )

d

L

m y

m

λ

1

1

+ =

+

Subtract the first of these equations

from the second to obtain: d

L

y

λ

= Δ

Substitute in equation (1) to obtain:

L

d

N

λ

=

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate N: ( )( )

1

cm 33 . 8

m 00 . 2 nm 600

mm 00 . 1

−

= = N

35 • [SSM] Using a conventional two-slit apparatus with light of

wavelength 589 nm, 28 bright fringes per centimeter are observed near the center

of a screen 3.00 m away. What is the slit separation?

Picture the Problem We can use the expression for the distance on the screen to

the mth and (m +1)st bright fringes to obtain an expression for the separation Δy

of the fringes as a function of the separation of the slits d. Because the number of

bright fringes per unit length N is the reciprocal of Δy, we can find d from N, λ,

and L.

Express the distance on the screen to

the mth and (m +1)st bright fringe:

d

L

m y

m

λ

= and ( )

d

L

m y

m

λ

1

1

+ =

+

Subtract the first of these equations

from the second to obtain:

d

L

y

λ

= Δ ⇒

y

L

d

Δ

=

λ

Because the number of fringes per

unit length N is the reciprocal of Δy:

L N d λ =

Chapter 33

1080

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate d:

( )( )( )

mm 95 . 4

m 00 . 3 nm 589 cm 28

1

=

=

−

d

36 • Light of wavelength 633 nm from a helium–neon laser is shone

normally on a plane containing two slits. The first interference maximum is 82 cm

from the central maximum on a screen 12 m away. (a) Find the separation of the

slits. (b) How many interference maxima is it, in principle, possible to observe?

Picture the Problem We can use the

geometry of the setup, represented to

the right, to find the separation of the

slits. To find the number of interference

maxima that, in principle, can be

observed, we can apply the equation

describing two-slit interference maxima

and require that sinθ ≤ 1.

d

cm 82

1

= y

m 12 = L

θ

θ

1

λ

0

Because d <<L, we can approximate

sinθ

1

as:

d

λ

θ ≈

1

sin ⇒

1

sinθ

λ

≈ d (1)

From the right triangle whose sides

are L and y

1

we have:

( ) ( )

06817 . 0

cm 82 m 12

cm 82

sin

2 2

1

=

+

= θ

Substitute numerical values in

equation (1) and evaluate d:

m 3 . 9 m 29 . 9

06817 . 0

nm 633

μ μ = = ≈ d

(b) The equation describing two-slit

interference maxima is:

... , 2 , 1 , 0 sin = = m , m d λ θ

Because sinθ ≤ 1 determines the

maximum number of interference

fringes that can be seen:

λ

max

m d = ⇒

λ

d

m =

max

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate m

max

:

14

nm 633

m 29 . 9

max

= =

μ

m because m must

be an integer.

Because there are 14 fringes on

either side of the central maximum:

( ) 29 1 14 2 1 2

max

= + = + = m N

Interference and Diffraction

1081

37 •• Two narrow slits are separated by a distance d. Their interference

pattern is to be observed on a screen a large distance L away. (a) Calculate the

spacing between successive maxima near the center fringe for light of wavelength

500 nm, when L is 1.00 m and d is 1.00 cm. (b) Would you expect to be able to

observe the interference of light on the screen for this situation? (c) How close

together should the slits be placed for the maxima to be separated by 1.00 mm for

this wavelength and screen distance?

Picture the Problem We can use the equation for the distance on a screen to the

mth bright fringe to derive an expression for the spacing of the maxima on the

screen. In (c) we can use this same relationship to express the slit separation d.

(a) Express the distance on the

screen to the mth and (m +1)st bright

fringe:

d

L

m y

m

λ

= and ( )

d

L

m y

m

λ

1

1

+ =

+

Subtract the first of these equations

from the second to obtain:

d

L

y

λ

= Δ (1)

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate Δy:

( )( )

m 0 . 50

cm 00 . 1

m 00 . 1 nm 500

μ = = Δy

(b) According to the Raleigh criterion you could resolve them, but not by much.

(c) Solve equation (1) for d to obtain:

y

L

d

Δ

=

λ

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate d:

( )( )

mm 500 . 0

mm 00 . 1

m 00 . 1 nm 500

= = d

38 •• Light is incident at an angle φ with the normal to a vertical plane

containing two slits of separation d (Figure 33-43). Show that the interference

maxima are located at angles θ

m

given by sin θ

m

+sin φ =mλ/d.

Picture the Problem Let the separation of the slits be d. We can find the total

path difference when the light is incident at an angle φ and set this result equal to

an integer multiple of the wavelength of the light to obtain the given equation.

Express the total path difference:

m

sin sin θ φ d d + = Δl

The condition for constructive

interference is:

λ m = Δl

where m is an integer.

Chapter 33

1082

Substitute to obtain: λ θ φ m d d = +

m

sin sin

Divide both sides of the equation by

d to obtain:

d

mλ

θ φ = +

m

sin sin

39 •• [SSM] White light falls at an angle of 30º to the normal of a plane

containing a pair of slits separated by 2.50 μm. What visible wavelengths give a

bright interference maximum in the transmitted light in the direction normal to the

plane? (See Problem 38.)

Picture the Problem Let the separation of the slits be d. We can find the total

path difference when the light is incident at an angle φ and set this result equal to

an integer multiple of the wavelength of the light to relate the angle of incidence

on the slits to the direction of the transmitted light and its wavelength.

Express the total path difference:

θ φ sin sin d d + = Δl

The condition for constructive

interference is:

λ m = Δl

where m is an integer.

Substitute to obtain:

λ θ φ m d d = + sin sin

Divide both sides of the equation

by d to obtain: d

mλ

θ φ = +sin sin

Set θ =0 and solve for λ:

m

d φ

λ

sin

=

Substitute numerical values and

simplify to obtain:

( )

m m

m 25 . 1 30 sin m 50 . 2 μ μ

λ =

°

=

Evaluate λ for positive integral values of m:

m λ (nm)

1 1250

2 625

3 417

4 313

From the table we can see that 625 nm and 417 nm are in the visible portion of the

electromagnetic spectrum.

Interference and Diffraction

1083

40 •• Two small loudspeakers are separated by 5.0 cm, as shown in Figure

33-44. The speakers are driven in phase with a sine wave signal of frequency 10

kHz. A small microphone is placed a distance 1.00 m away from the speakers on

the axis running through the middle of the two speakers, and the microphone is

then moved perpendicular to the axis. Where does the microphone record the first

minimum and the first maximum of the interference pattern from the speakers?

The speed of sound in air is 343 m/s.

Picture the Problem The diagram

shows the two speakers, S

1

and S

2

, the

central-bright image and the first-order

image to the left of the central-bright

image. The distance y is measured from

the center of the central-bright image.

We can apply the conditions for

constructive and destructive

interference from two sources and use

the geometry of the speakers and

microphone to find the distance to the

first interference minimum and the

distance to the first interference

maximum.

S

S

2

1

θ

d

L

y

Relate the distance Δy to the first

minimum from the center of the

central maximum to θ and the

distance L from the speakers to the

plane of the microphone:

L

y

= θ tan ⇒ θ tan L y = (1)

Interference minima occur where:

( )λ θ

2

1

sin + = m d

where m =0, 1, 2, 3, …

Solve for θ to obtain:

( )

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡ +

=

−

d

m λ

θ

2

1

1

sin

Relate the wavelength λ of the sound

waves to the speed of sound v and

the frequency f of the sound:

f

v

= λ

Substitute for λ in the expression for

θ to obtain:

( )

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡ +

=

−

df

v m

2

1

1

sin θ

Substituting for θ in equation (1)

yields:

( )

⎭

⎬

⎫

⎩

⎨

⎧

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡ +

=

−

df

v m

L y

2

1

1

sin tan (2)

Chapter 33

1084

Noting that the first minimum corresponds to m =0, substitute numerical values

and evaluate Δy:

( )

( )( )

( )( )

cm 37

kHz 10 cm 0 . 5

m/s 343

sin tan m 00 . 1

2

1

1

min 1st

=

⎭

⎬

⎫

⎩

⎨

⎧

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

−

y

The maxima occur where:

λ θ m d = sin

where m =1, 2, 3, …

For diffraction maxima, equation (2)

becomes:

⎭

⎬

⎫

⎩

⎨

⎧

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

−

af

mv

L y

1

sin tan

Noting that the first maximum corresponds to m =1, substitute numerical values

and evaluate y:

( )

( )( )

( )( )

cm 94

kHz 10 cm 0 . 5

m/s 343 1

sin tan m 00 . 1

1

max 1st

=

⎭

⎬

⎫

⎩

⎨

⎧

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

−

y

Diffraction Pattern of a Single Slit

41 • Light that has a 600-nm wavelength is incident on a long narrow slit.

Find the angle of the first diffraction minimum if the width of the slit is

(a) 1.0 mm, (b) 0.10 mm, and (c) 0.010 mm.

Picture the Problem We can use the expression locating the first zeroes in the

intensity to find the angles at which these zeroes occur as a function of the slit

width a.

The first zeroes in the intensity occur

at angles given by:

a

λ

θ = sin ⇒

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

−

a

λ

θ

1

sin

(a) For a =1.0 mm:

mrad 60 . 0

mm 0 . 1

nm 600

sin

1

=

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

−

θ

(b) For a =0.10 mm:

mrad 0 . 6

mm 10 . 0

nm 600

sin

1

=

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

−

θ

(c) For a =0.010 mm:

mrad 60

mm 010 . 0

nm 600

sin

1

=

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

−

θ

Interference and Diffraction

1085

42 • Plane microwaves are incident on the thin metal sheet that has a long,

narrow slit of width 5.0 cm in it. The microwave radiation strikes the sheet at

normal incidence. The first diffraction minimum is observed at θ =37º. What is

the wavelength of the microwaves?

Picture the Problem We can use the expression locating the first zeroes in the

intensity to find the wavelength of the radiation as a function of the angle at

which the first diffraction minimum is observed and the width of the plate.

The first zeroes in the intensity occur

at angles given by:

a

λ

θ = sin ⇒ θ λ sin a =

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate λ:

( ) cm 0 . 3 37 sin cm 0 . 5 = ° = λ

43 ••• [SSM] Measuring the distance to the moon (lunar ranging) is

routinely done by firing short-pulse lasers and measuring the time it takes for the

pulses to reflect back from the moon. A pulse is fired from Earth. To send the

pulse out, the pulse is expanded so that it fills the aperture of a 6.00-in-diameter

telescope. Assuming the only thing spreading the beam out is diffraction and that

the light wavelength is 500 nm, how large will the beam be when it reaches the

Moon, 3.82 × 10

5

km away?

Picture the Problem The diagram shows the beam expanding as it travels to the

moon and that portion of it that is reflected from the mirror on the moon

expanding as it returns to Earth. We can express the diameter of the beam at the

moon as the product of the beam divergence angle and the distance to the moon

and use the equation describing diffraction at a circular aperture to find the beam

divergence angle.

L D

d

telescope

d

mirror

Relate the diameter D of the beam

when it reaches the moon to the

distance to the moon L and the beam

divergence angle θ :

L D θ ≈ (1)

Chapter 33

1086

The angle θ subtended by the first

diffraction minimum is related to the

wavelength λ of the light and the

diameter of the telescope opening

d

telescope

by:

telescope

22 . 1 sin

d

λ

θ =

Because θ <<1, sinθ ≈ θ and:

telescope

22 . 1

d

λ

θ ≈

Substitute for θ in equation (1) to

obtain:

telescope

22 . 1

d

L

D

λ

=

Substitute numerical values and evaluate D:

( )

( )

km 53 . 1

cm 10

m 1

in

cm 2.54

in 00 . 6

nm 500 22 . 1

m 10 82 . 3

2

8

=

⎥

⎥

⎥

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎢

⎢

⎢

⎣

⎡

× ×

× = D

Interference-Diffraction Pattern of Two Slits

44 • How many interference maxima will be contained in the central

diffraction maximum in the interference–diffraction pattern of two slits if the

separation of the slits is exactly 5 times their width? How many will there be if

the slit separation is an integral multiple of the slit width (that is d = na) for any

value of n?

Picture the Problem We need to find the value of m for which the mth

interference maximum coincides with the first diffraction minimum. Then there

will be 1 2 − = m N fringes in the central maximum.

The number of fringes N in the

central maximum is:

1 2 − = m N (1)

Relate the angle θ

1

of the first

diffraction minimum to the width a

of the slits of the diffraction grating:

a

λ

θ =

1

sin

Express the angle θ

m

corresponding

to the mth interference maxima in

terms of the separation d of the slits:

d

m

m

λ

θ = sin

Interference and Diffraction

1087

Because we require that θ

1

=θ

m

,

we can equate these expressions

to obtain:

a d

m λ λ

= ⇒

a

d

m =

Substituting for d and simplifying

yields:

5

5

= =

a

a

m

Substitute for m in equation (1) to

obtain:

( ) 9 1 5 2 = − = N

If d =na:

n

a

na

a

d

m = = =

and 1 2 − = n N

45 •• [SSM] A two-slit Fraunhofer interference–diffraction pattern is

observed using light that has a wavelength equal to 500 nm. The slits have a

separation of 0.100 mm and an unknown width. (a) Find the width if the fifth

interference maximum is at the same angle as the first diffraction minimum.

(b) For that case, how many bright interference fringes will be seen in the central

diffraction maximum?

Picture the Problem We can equate the sine of the angle at which the first

diffraction minimum occurs to the sine of the angle at which the fifth interference

maximum occurs to find a. We can then find the number of bright interference

fringes seen in the central diffraction maximum using . 1 2 − = m N

(a) Relate the angle θ

1

of the first

diffraction minimum to the width a

of the slits of the diffraction grating:

a

λ

θ =

1

sin

Express the angle θ

5

corresponding

to the m

th

fifth interference maxima

maximum in terms of the separation

d of the slits:

d

λ

θ

5

sin

5

=

Because we require that θ

1

=θ

m5

, we

can equate these expressions to

obtain:

a d

λ λ

=

5

⇒

5

d

a =

Substituting the numerical value of d

yields:

m 0 . 20

5

mm 100 . 0

μ = = a

(b) Because m =5:

( ) 9 1 5 2 1 2 = − = − = m N

Chapter 33

1088

46 •• A two-slit Fraunhofer interference–diffraction pattern is observed

using light that has a wavelength equal to 700 nm. The slits have widths of

0.010 mm and are separated by 0.20 mm. How many bright fringes will be seen in

the central diffraction maximum?

Picture the Problem We can equate the sine of the angle at which the first

diffraction minimum occurs to the sine of the angle at which the mth interference

maximum occurs to find m. We can then find the number of bright interference

fringes seen in the central diffraction maximum using . 1 2 − = m N

The number of fringes N in the

central maximum is:

1 2 − = m N (1)

Relate the angle θ

1

of the first

diffraction minimum to the width a

of the slits of the diffraction grating:

a

λ

θ =

1

sin

Express the angle θ

m

corresponding

to the mth interference maxima in

terms of the separation d of the slits:

d

m

m

λ

θ = sin

Because we require that θ

1

=θ

m

, we

can equate these expressions to

obtain:

a d

m λ λ

= ⇒

a

d

m =

Substitute for m in equation (1) to

obtain:

1

2

− =

a

d

N

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate N:

( )

39 1

mm 010 . 0

mm 20 . 0 2

= − = N

47 •• Suppose that the central diffraction maximum for two slits has 17

interference fringes for some wavelength of light. How many interference fringes

would you expect in the diffraction maximum adjacent to one side of the central

diffraction maximum?

Picture the Problem There are 8 interference fringes on each side of the central

maximum. The secondary diffraction maximum is half as wide as the central one.

It follows that it will contain 8 interference maxima.

Interference and Diffraction

1089

48 •• Light that has a wavelength equal to 550 nm illuminates two slits that

both have widths equal to 0.030 mm and separations equal to 0.15 mm.

(a) How many interference maxima fall within the full width of the central

diffraction maximum? (b) What is the ratio of the intensity of the third

interference maximum to one side of the center interference maximum to the

intensity of the center interference maximum?

Picture the Problem We can equate the sine of the angle at which the first

diffraction minimum occurs to the sine of the angle at which the mth interference

maximum occurs to find m. We can then find the number of bright interference

fringes seen in the central diffraction maximum using . 1 2 − = m N In (b) we can

use the expression relating the intensity in a single-slit diffraction pattern to phase

constant θ

λ

π

φ sin

2

a = to find the ratio of the intensity of the third interference

maximum to one side of the center interference maximum.

(a) The number of fringes N in the

central maximum is:

1 2 − = m N (1)

Relate the angle θ

1

of the first

diffraction minimum to the width a

of the slits of the diffraction grating:

a

λ

θ =

1

sin

Express the angle θ

m

corresponding

to the mth interference maxima in

terms of the separation d of the slits:

d

m

m

λ

θ = sin

Because we require that θ

1

=θ

m

, we

can equate these expressions to

obtain:

a d

m λ λ

= ⇒

a

d

m =

Substitute in equation (1) to obtain:

1

2

− =

a

d

N

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate N:

( )

9 1

mm 030 . 0

mm 15 . 0 2

= − = N

(b) Express the intensity for a single-

slit diffraction pattern as a function

of the phase difference φ:

2

2

1

2

1

0

sin

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

φ

φ

I I (2)

where θ

λ

π

φ sin

2

a =

Chapter 33

1090

For m =3:

d

λ

θ

3

sin

3

=

and

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

= =

d

a

d

a a π

λ

λ

π

θ

λ

π

φ 6

3 2

sin

2

3

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate φ:

5

6

mm 15 . 0

mm 030 . 0

6

π

π φ =

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

Solve equation (2) for the ratio of I

3

to I

0

:

2

2

1

2

1

0

3

sin

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

φ

φ

I

I

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate I

3

/I

0

:

25 . 0

5

6

2

1

5

6

2

1

sin

2

0

3

=

⎥

⎥

⎥

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎢

⎢

⎢

⎣

⎡

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

π

π

I

I

Using Phasors to Add Harmonic Waves

49 • [SSM] Find the resultant of the two waves whose electric fields at a

given location vary with time as follows: i E

ˆ

sin 2

0 1

t A ω =

r

and

( )i E

ˆ

sin 3

2

3

0 2

π ω + = t A

r

.

Picture the Problem Chose the

coordinate system shown in the

phasor diagram. We can use the

standard methods of vector addition

to find the resultant of the two waves.

y

x

δ

1

E

r

2

E

r

E

r

The resultant of the two waves is of

the form:

( )i E E δ ω + = t sin

r r

(1)

The magnitude of E

r

is:

( ) ( )

0

2

0

2

0

6 . 3 3 2 A A A = + = E

r

The phase angle δ is:

rad 98 . 0

2

3

tan

0

0 1

− =

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛ −

=

−

A

A

δ

Interference and Diffraction

1091

Substitute for E

r

and δ in equation

(1) to obtain:

( )i E rad 98 . 0 sin 6 . 3

0

− = t A ω

r

50 • Find the resultant of the two waves whose electric fields at a given

location vary with time as follows: i E

ˆ

sin 4

0 1

t A ω =

r

and ( )i E

ˆ

sin 3

6

1

0 2

π ω + = t A

r

.

Picture the Problem Chose the coordinate system shown in the phasor diagram.

We can use the standard methods of vector addition to find the resultant of the

two waves.

y

x

δ

° 60

1

E

r

2

E

r

E

r

The resultant of the two waves is of

the form:

( )i E E δ ω + = t sin

r r

(1)

Apply the law of cosines to the

magnitudes of the scalars to obtain:

° − + = 120 cos 2

1

2 2

1

2

2 2

E E E E E

r r r r r

or

° − + = 120 cos 2

1

2 2

1 2 2

E E E E E

r r r r r

Substitute for

1

E

r

and

2

E

r

and evaluate E

r

to obtain:

( ) ( ) ( )( )

0 0 0

2

0

2

0

08 . 6 120 cos 3 4 2 3 4 A A A A A = ° − + = E

r

Applying the law of sines yields:

E E

r r

°

=

120 sin sin

2

δ

Solve for δ to obtain:

⎥

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎢

⎣

⎡

°

=

−

E

E

r

r

120 sin

sin

2

1

δ

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate δ:

rad 43 . 0

08 . 6

120 sin 3

sin

0

0 1

=

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡ °

=

−

A

A

δ

Chapter 33

1092

Substitute for E

r

and δ in equation

(1) to obtain:

( )i E rad 43 . 0 sin 1 . 6

0

+ = t A ω

r

Remarks: We could have used the law of cosines to find R and the law of

sines to find δ.

51 •• Monochromatic light is incident on a sheet with a long narrow slit

(Figure 33-45). Let I

0

be the intensity at the central maximum of the diffraction

pattern on a distant screen, and let I be the intensity at the second intensity

maximum from the central intensity maximum. The distance from this second

intensity maximum to the far edge of the slit is longer than the distance from the

second intensity maximum to the near edge of the slit by approximately 2.5

wavelengths. What is the ratio if I to I

0

?

Picture the Problem We can evaluate the expression for the intensity for a

single-slit diffraction pattern at the second secondary maximum to express I

2

in

terms of I

0

.

The intensity at the second secondary

maximum is given by:

⇒

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

2

2

1

2

1

0

sin

φ

φ

I I

2

2

1

2

1

0

sin

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

φ

φ

I

I

where

θ

λ

π

φ sin

2

a =

At this second secondary maximum:

λ θ

2

5

sin = a and π

λ

λ

π

φ 5

2

5 2

=

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

Substitute for φ and evaluate

0

I

I

:

0162 . 0

2

5

2

5

sin

2

0

=

⎥

⎥

⎥

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎢

⎢

⎢

⎣

⎡

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

π

π

I

I

52 •• Monochromatic light is incident on a sheet that has three long narrow

parallel equally spaced slits a distance d apart. (a) Show that the positions of the

interference minima on a screen a large distance L away from the sheet that has

the three equally spaced slits (spacing d, with d >>λ) are given approximately by

d L m y

m

3 λ = where m =1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, . . . that is, m is not a multiple of 3.

(b) For a screen distance of 1.00 m, a light wavelength of 500 nm, and a source

spacing of 0.100 mm, calculate the width of the principal interference maxima

(the distance between successive minima) for three sources.

Interference and Diffraction

1093

Picture the Problem We can use phasor concepts to find the phase angle δ in

terms of the number of phasors N (three in this problem) forming a closed

polygon of N sides at the minima and then use this information to express the path

difference Δr for each of these locations. Applying a small angle approximation,

we can obtain an expression for y that we can evaluate for enough of the path

differences to establish the pattern given in the problem statement.

(a) Express the phase angle δ in

terms of the number of phasors N

forming a closed polygon of N sides:

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

N

m

π

δ

2

where m =1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ,7, …

For three equally spaced sources,

the phase angle is:

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

3

2π

δ m

Express the path difference

corresponding to this phase angle to

obtain:

3 2

λ

δ

π

λ

m r =

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

= Δ (1)

Interference maxima occur for:

m =3, 6, 9, 12, …

Interference minima occur for:

m =1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, …

(Note that m is not a multiple of 3.)

Express the path difference Δr in

terms of sinθ and the separation

d of the slits:

θ sin d r = Δ

or, provided the small angle

approximation is valid,

L

yd

r = Δ ⇒ r

d

L

y Δ =

Substituting for Δr from equation (1)

yields:

... , 8 , 7 , 5 , 4 , 2 , 1 ,

3

min

= = m

d

L m

y

λ

(b) For L =1.00 m, λ =500 nm, and

d =0.100 mm:

( )( )

( )

mm 33 . 3

mm 0.100 3

m 00 . 1 nm 500 2

2

min

= = y

53 •• [SSM] Monochromatic light is incident on a sheet that has four long

narrow parallel equally spaced slits a distance d apart. (a) Show that the positions

of the interference minima on a screen a large distance L away from four equally

spaced sources (spacing d, with d >>λ) are given approximately by

d L m y

m

4 λ = where m =1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, . . . that is, m is not a multiple of

4. (b) For a screen distance of 2.00 m, light wavelength of 600 nm, and a source

Chapter 33

1094

spacing of 0.100 mm, calculate the width of the principal interference maxima

(the distance between successive minima) for four sources. Compare this width

with that for two sources with the same spacing.

Picture the Problem We can use phasor concepts to find the phase angle δ in

terms of the number of phasors N (four in this problem) forming a closed polygon

of N sides at the minima and then use this information to express the path

difference Δr for each of these locations. Applying a small angle approximation,

we can obtain an expression for y that we can evaluate for enough of the path

differences to establish the pattern given in the problem statement.

(a) Express the phase angle δ in

terms of the number of phasors N

forming a closed polygon of N sides:

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

N

m

π

δ

2

where m =1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ,7, …

For four equally spaced sources, the

phase angle is:

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

2

π

δ m

Express the path difference

corresponding to this phase angle to

obtain:

4 2

λ

δ

π

λ

m r =

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

= Δ (1)

Interference maximum occur for: m =3, 6, 9, 12, …

Interference minima occur for:

m =1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, …

(Note that m is not a multiple of 3.)

Express the path difference Δr in

terms of sinθ and the separation

d of the slits:

θ sin d r = Δ

or, provided the small angle

approximation is valid,

L

yd

r = Δ ⇒ r

d

L

y Δ =

Substituting for Δr from equation (1)

yields:

,... 9 , 7 , 6 , 5 , 3 , 2 , 1 ,

4

min

= = m

d

L m

y

λ

(b) For L =2.00 m, λ =600 nm,

d =0.100 mm, and n =1:

( )( )

( )

mm 00 . 6

mm 0.100 4

m 00 . 2 nm 600 2

2

min

= = y

For two slits:

( )

d

L m

y

λ

2

1

min

2

2

+

=

Interference and Diffraction

1095

For L =2.00 m, λ =600 nm,

d =0.100 mm, and m =0:

( )( )

mm 0 . 12

mm 0.100

m 00 . 2 nm 600

2

min

= = y

The width for four sources is half the width for two sources.

54 •• Light of wavelength 480 nm falls normally on four slits. Each slit is

2.00 μm wide and the center-to-center separation between it and the next slit is

6.00 μm. (a) Find the angular width of the of the central intensity maximum of

the single-slit diffraction pattern on a distant screen. (b) Find the angular position

of all interference intensity maxima that lie inside the central diffraction

maximum. (c) Find the angular width of the central interference. That is, find the

angle between the first intensity minima on either side of the central intensity

maximum. (d) Sketch the relative intensity as a function of the sine of the angle.

Picture the Problem We can use a λ θ = sin to find the first zeros in the intensity

pattern. The four-slit interference maxima occur at angles given by

, m d λ θ = sin where m =0,1,2, … . In (c) we can use the result of Problem 53 to

find the angular spread between the central interference maximum and the first

interference minimum on either side of it. In (d) we’ll use a phasor diagram for a

four-slit grating to find the resultant amplitude at a given point in the intensity

pattern as a function of the phase constant δ, that, in turn, is a function of the angle

θ that determines the location of a point in the interference pattern.

(a) The first zeros in the intensity

occur at angles given by:

a

λ

θ = sin ⇒

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

−

a

λ

θ

1

sin

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate θ :

mrad 242

m 00 . 2

nm 480

sin

1

=

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

−

μ

θ

(b) The four-slit interference

maxima occur at angles given by:

λ θ m d = sin ⇒

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

−

d

m

m

λ

θ

1

sin

where m =0, 1, 2, 3, …

Substitute numerical values to

obtain:

( )

( ) m

m

m

0800 . 0 sin

m 00 . 6

nm 480

sin

1

1

−

−

=

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

μ

θ

Chapter 33

1096

Evaluate θ

m

for m =0, 1, 2, and 3:

( ) [ ] 0 0800 . 0 0 sin

1

0

= =

−

θ

( ) [ ] mrad 1 . 80 0800 . 0 1 sin

1

1

± = =

−

θ

( ) [ ] mrad 161 0800 . 0 2 sin

1

2

± = =

−

θ

( ) [ ] rad .242 0 0800 . 0 3 sin

1

3

± = =

−

θ

where θ

3

will not be seen as it

coincides with the first minimum in the

diffraction pattern.

(c) From Problem 53:

d

n

4

min

λ

θ =

For n =1:

( )

mrad 20

m 00 . 6 4

nm 480

min

= =

μ

θ

(d) Use the phasor method to show the superposition of four waves of the same

amplitude A

0

and constant phase difference . sin

2

θ

λ

π

δ d =

A

0

A

0

A

A

0

A

0

f

α

δ

δ

δ

δ

δ

"

"

δ

'

φ

φ

α

Express A in terms of δ ′ and δ ′′:

( ) ' A '' A A δ δ cos cos 2

0 0

+ = (1)

Because the sum of the external

angles of a polygon equals 2π:

π δ α 2 3 2 = +

Interference and Diffraction

1097

Examining the phasor diagram we

see that:

π δ α = + ''

Eliminate α and solve for '' δ to

obtain:

δ δ

2

3

= ''

Because the sum of the internal

angles of a polygon of n sides is

(n − 2)π :

π δ φ 3 2 3 = + ''

From the definition of a straight

angle we have:

π δ δ φ = + − '

Eliminate φ between these equations

to obtain:

δ δ

2

1

= '

Substitute for '' δ and ' δ in equation

(1) to obtain:

( ) δ δ

2

1

2

3

0

cos cos 2 + = A A

Because the intensity is

proportional to the square of the

amplitude of the resultant wave:

( )

2

2

1

2

3

0

cos cos 4 δ δ + = I I

The following graph of I/I

0

as a function of sinθ was plotted using a spreadsheet

program. The diffraction envelope was plotted using ,

sin

4

2

2

1

2

1

2

0

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

φ

φ

I

I

where

. sin

2

θ

λ

π

φ a = Note the excellent agreement with the results calculated in (a), (b)

and (c).

Chapter 33

1098

-2

0

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

18

-0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3

sin(theta)

I /I

0

intensity

diffraction envelope

55 ••• [SSM] Three slits, each separated from its neighbor by 60.0 μm, are

illuminated at the central intensity maximum by a coherent light source of

wavelength 550 nm. The slits are extremely narrow. A screen is located 2.50 m

from the slits. The intensity is 50.0 mW/m

2

. Consider a location 1.72 cm from the

central maximum. (a) Draw a phasor diagram suitable for the addition of the three

harmonic waves at that location. (b) From the phasor diagram, calculate the

intensity of light at that location.

Picture the Problem We can find the

phase constant δ from the geometry of

the diagram to the right. Using the

value of δ found in this fashion we can

express the intensity at the point 1.72

cm from the centerline in terms of the

intensity on the centerline. On the

centerline, the amplitude of the

resultant wave is 3 times that of each

individual wave and the intensity is 9

times that of each source acting

separately.

m 50 . 2 = L

cm .72 1

y

θ

(a) Express δ for the adjacent slits:

θ

λ

π

δ sin

2

d =

For θ <<1, θ θ θ ≈ ≈ tan sin :

L

y

= ≈ θ θ tan sin

Interference and Diffraction

1099

Substitute to obtain:

L

dy

λ

π

δ

2

=

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate δ :

( )( )

( )( )

° = =

=

270 rad

2

3

m 50 . 2 nm 550

cm 72 . 1 m 0 . 60 2

π

μ π

δ

The three phasors, 270° apart, are

shown in the diagram to the right.

Note that they form three sides of a

square. Consequently, their sum,

shown as the resultant R, equals the

magnitude of one of the phasors.

δ

δ

A

A

A

0

0

0

0

R = A

(b) Express the intensity at the point

1.72 cm from the centerline:

2

R I ∝

Because I

0

∝ 9R

2

:

2

2

0

9R

R

I

I

= ⇒

9

0

I

I =

Substitute for I

0

and evaluate I:

2

2

mW/m 56 . 5

9

mW/m 0 . 50

= = I

56 ••• In single-slit Fraunhofer diffraction, the intensity pattern (Figure 33-

11) consists of a broad central maximum with a sequence of secondary maxima to

either side of the central maximum. This intensity is given by

2

2

1

2

1

0

sin

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

φ

φ

I I ,

where φ is the phase difference between the wavelets arriving from the opposite

edges of the slits. Calculate the values of φ for the first three secondary maxima to

one side of the central maximum by finding the values of φ for which dI/dφ is

equal to zero. Check your results by comparing your answers with approximate

values for φ of 3π, 5π and 7π. (That these values for φ are approximately correct

at the secondary intensity maxima is discussed in the discussion surrounding

Figure 33-27.)

Chapter 33

1100

Picture the Problem We can use the phasor diagram shown in Figure 33-26 to

determine the first three values of φ that produce secondary intensity maxima.

Setting the derivative of Equation 33-19 equal to zero will yield a transcendental

equation whose roots are the values of φ corresponding to the intensity maxima in

the diffraction pattern.

Referring to Figure 33-26 we see

that the first subsidiary maximum

occurs where:

π φ 3 =

An intensity minimum occurs where:

π φ 4 =

Another intensity maximum occurs

where:

π φ 5 =

Thus, secondary intensity maxima

occur where:

( ) ... , 3 , 2 , 1 1 2 = + = n , n π φ

and the first three secondary intensity

maxima are at π π π φ 7 and , 5 , 3 =

The intensity in the single-slit

diffraction pattern is given by:

2

2

1

2

1

0

sin

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

φ

φ

I I

Set the derivative of this expression equal to zero for extreme values (relative

minima and maxima):

( )

extrema for 0

sin cos sin

2

2

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

4

1

2

1

2

1

0

=

⎥

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎢

⎣

⎡

−

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

φ

φ φ φ

φ

φ

φ

I

d

dI

Simplify to obtain the transcendental

equation:

φ φ

2

1

2

1

tan =

Solve this equation numerically

(use the ″Solver″ function of your

calculator or trial-and-error

methods) to obtain:

π π π φ 6.94 and 92 . 4 86 . 2 , , =

At the three intensity minima φ =2π, 4π, and 6π , and at the three intensity

maxima φ =2.86π, 4.92π, and 6.94π. At the intensity maxima φ ≈ 3π, 5π, and 7π.

Interference and Diffraction

1101

Remarks: Note that our results in (b) are smaller than the approximate

values found in (a) by 4.9%, 1.6%, and 0.86% and that the agreement

improves as n increases.

Diffraction and Resolution

57 • [SSM] Light that has a wavelength equal to 700 nm is incident on a

pinhole of diameter 0.100 mm. (a) What is the angle between the central

maximum and the first diffraction minimum for a Fraunhofer diffraction pattern?

(b) What is the distance between the central maximum and the first diffraction

minimum on a screen 8.00 m away?

Picture the Problem We can use

D

λ

θ 22 . 1 = to find the angle between

the central maximum and the first

diffraction minimum for a Fraunhofer

diffraction pattern and the diagram to

the right to find the distance between

the central maximum and the first

diffraction minimum on a screen 8 m

away from the pinhole.

L

min

y

θ

D

(a) The angle between the central

maximum and the first diffraction

minimum for a Fraunhofer

diffraction pattern is given by:

D

λ

θ 22 . 1 =

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate θ :

mrad 54 . 8

mm 100 . 0

nm 700

22 . 1 =

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

= θ

(b) Referring to the diagram, we see

that:

θ tan

min

L y =

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate y

min

:

( ) ( )

cm 83 . 6

mrad 54 . 8 tan m 00 . 8

min

=

= y

58 • Two sources of light that both have wavelengths equal to 700 nm are

10.0 m away from the pinhole of Problem 57. How far apart must the sources be

for their diffraction patterns to be resolved by Rayleigh’s criterion?

Chapter 33

1102

Picture the Problem We can apply Rayleigh’s criterion to the overlapping

diffraction patterns and to the diameter D of the pinhole to obtain an expression

that we can solve for Δy.

Pinhole

α

α

∆y

L

c

c

Rayleigh’s criterion is satisfied

provided:

D

λ

α 22 . 1

c

=

Relate α

c

to the separation Δy of the

light sources:

L

y Δ

≈

c

α provided α

c

<<1.

Equate these expressions to obtain:

D L

y λ

22 . 1 =

Δ

⇒

D

L

y

λ

22 . 1 = Δ

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate Δy:

( )( )

cm 54 . 8

mm 100 . 0

m 0 . 10 nm 700

22 . 1 = = Δy

59 • Two sources of light that both have wavelengths of 700 nm are

separated by a horizontal distance x. They are 5.00 m from a vertical slit of width

0.500 mm. What is the smallest value of x for which the diffraction pattern of the

sources can be resolved by Rayleigh’s criterion?

Picture the Problem We can use

Rayleigh’s criterion for slits and the

geometry of the diagram to the right

showing the overlapping diffraction

patterns to express x in terms of λ, L,

and the width a of the slit.

c

c

L

α

α

x

Interference and Diffraction

1103

Referring to the diagram, relate α

c

,

L, and x: L

x

≈

c

α

For slits, Rayleigh’s criterion is:

a

λ

α =

c

Equate these two expressions to

obtain:

a L

x λ

= ⇒

a

L

x

λ

=

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate x:

( )( )

mm 00 . 7

mm 500 . 0

m 00 . 5 nm 700

= = x

60 •• The ceiling of your lecture hall is probably covered with acoustic tile,

which has small holes separated by about 6.0 mm. (a) Using light that has a

wavelength of 500 nm, how far could you be from this tile and still resolve these

holes? Assume the diameter of the pupil of your eye is about 5.0 mm. (b) Could

you resolve these holes better using red light or using violet light? Explain your

answer.

Picture the Problem We can use Rayleigh’s criterion for circular apertures and

the geometry of the diagram to the right showing the overlapping diffraction

patterns to express L in terms of λ, x, and the diameter D of your pupil.

Your pupil

α

α

x

L

c

c

(a) Referring to the diagram, relate

α

c

, L, and x: L

x

≈

c

α provided α <<1

For circular apertures, Rayleigh’s

criterion is:

D

λ

α 22 . 1

c

=

Equate these two expressions to

obtain:

D L

x λ

22 . 1 = ⇒

λ 22 . 1

xD

L =

Chapter 33

1104

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate L:

( )( )

( )

m 49

nm 500 22 . 1

mm 0 . 5 mm 0 . 6

= = L

(b) Because L is inversely proportional to λ, the holes can be resolved better with

violet light which has a shorter wavelength. The critical angle for resolution is

proportional to the wavelength. Thus, the shorter the wavelength the farther away

you can be and still resolve the two images.

61 •• [SSM] The telescope on Mount Palomar has a diameter of 200 in.

Suppose a double star were 4.00 light-years away. Under ideal conditions, what

must be the minimum separation of the two stars for their images to be resolved

using light that has a wavelength equal to 550 nm?

Picture the Problem We can use Rayleigh’s criterion for circular apertures and

the geometry of the diagram to obtain an expression we can solve for the

minimum separation Δx of the stars.

Your pupil

∆

α

α

x

L

c

c

Rayleigh’s criterion is satisfied

provided:

D

λ

α 22 . 1

c

=

Relate α

c

to the separation Δx of

the light sources:

L

x Δ

≈

c

α because α

c

<<1

Equate these expressions to obtain:

D L

x λ

22 . 1 =

Δ

⇒

D

L

x

λ

22 . 1 = Δ

Substitute numerical values and evaluate Δx:

( )

m 10 00 . 5

in 1

cm 2.54

in 200

y 1

m 10 461 . 9

y 4 nm 550

22 . 1

9

15

× =

⎟

⎟

⎟

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎜

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

×

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

⋅

×

× ⋅

= Δ

c

c

x

Interference and Diffraction

1105

62 •• The star Mizar in Ursa Major is a binary system of stars of nearly

equal magnitudes. The angular separation between the two stars is 14 seconds of

arc. What is the minimum diameter of the pupil that allows resolution of the two

stars using light that has a wavelength equal to 550 nm?

Picture the Problem We can use Rayleigh’s criterion for circular apertures and

the geometry of the diagram to obtain an expression we can solve for the

minimum diameter D of the pupil that allows resolution of the binary stars.

Your pupil

∆

α

α

x

L

c

c

D

Rayleigh’s criterion is satisfied

provided:

D

λ

α 22 . 1

c

= ⇒

c

22 . 1

α

λ

= D

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate D:

cm 1 mm 9 . 9

180

rad

3600

1

14

nm 550

22 . 1

≈ =

⎟

⎟

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

°

×

°

×

=

π

''

''

D

Diffraction Gratings

63 • [SSM] A diffraction grating that has 2000 slits per centimeter is used

to measure the wavelengths emitted by hydrogen gas. (a) At what angles in the

first-order spectrum would you expect to find the two violet lines that have

wavelengths of 434 nm and 410 nm? (b) What are the angles if the grating has 15

000 slits per centimeter?

Picture the Problem We can solve λ θ m d = sin for θ with m =1 to express the

location of the first-order maximum as a function of the wavelength of the light.

(a) The interference maxima in a

diffraction pattern are at angles θ

given by:

λ θ m d = sin

where d is the separation of the slits

and m =0, 1, 2, …

Chapter 33

1106

Solve for the angular location θ

m

of

the maxima :

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

−

d

m

m

λ

θ

1

sin

Relate the number of slits N per

centimeter to the separation d of the

slits:

d

N

1

=

Substitute for d to obtain:

( ) λ θ mN

m

1

sin

−

= (1)

Evaluateθ for λ =434 nm and m =1: ( )( ) [ ]

mrad 9 . 86

nm 434 cm 2000 sin

1 1

1

=

=

− −

θ

Evaluateθ for λ =410 nm and m =1: ( )( ) [ ]

mrad 1 . 82

nm 410 cm 2000 sin

1 1

1

=

=

− −

θ

(b) Use equation (1) to evaluateθ for

λ =434 nm and m =1:

( )( ) [ ]

mrad 709

nm 434 cm 15000 sin

1 1

1

=

=

− −

θ

Evaluate θ for λ =410 nm and m =1: ( )( ) [ ]

mrad 662

nm 410 cm 15000 sin

1 1

1

=

=

− −

θ

64 • Using a diffraction grating that has 2000 lines per centimeter, two

other lines in the first-order hydrogen spectrum are found at angles of

9.72 × 10

–2

rad and 1.32 × 10

–1

rad. What are the wavelengths of these lines?

Picture the Problem We can solve λ θ m d = sin for λ with m =1 to express the

location of the first-order maximum as a function of the angles at which the first-

order images are found.

The interference maxima in a

diffraction pattern are at angles θ

given by:

λ θ m d = sin ⇒

m

d θ

λ

sin

=

where d is the separation of the slits

and m =0, 1, 2, …

Relate the number of slits N per

centimeter to the separation d of

the slits:

d

N

1

=

Interference and Diffraction

1107

Let m =1 and substitute for d to

obtain: N

θ

λ

sin

=

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate λ

1

for θ

1

=9.72 ×10

–2

rad:

( )

nm 485

cm 2000

rad 10 72 . 9 sin

1

2

1

=

×

=

−

−

λ

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate λ

1

for θ

2

=1.32 ×10

–1

rad:

( )

nm 658

cm 2000

rad 10 32 . 1 sin

1

1

1

=

×

=

−

−

λ

65 • The colors of many butterfly wings and beetle carapaces are due to

effects of diffraction. The Morpho butterfly has structural elements on its wings

that effectively act as a diffraction grating with spacing 880 nm. At what angle

will the first diffraction maximum occur for normally incident light diffracted by

the butterfly’s wings? Assume the light is blue with a wavelength of 440 nm.

Picture the Problem We can use the grating equation to find the angle at which

normally incident blue light will be diffracted by the butterfly’s wings.

The grating equation is:

λ θ m d = sin , where m =1, 2, 3, …

Solve for θ to obtain:

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

−

d

mλ

θ

1

sin

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate θ

1

:

( )( )

° =

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

−

0 . 30

nm 880

nm 440 1

sin

1

θ

66 •• A diffraction grating that has 2000 slits per centimeter is used to

analyze the spectrum of mercury. (a) Find the angular separation in the first-order

spectrum of the two lines of wavelength 579 nm and 577 nm. (b) How wide must

the beam on the grating be for these lines to be resolved?

Picture the Problem We can use the grating equation to find the angular

separation of the first-order spectrum of the two lines. In Part (b) we can apply the

definition of the resolving power of the grating to find the width of the grating

that must be illuminated for the lines to be resolved.

(a) Express the angular separation in

the first-order spectrum of the two

lines:

577 579

θ θ θ − = Δ

Solve the grating equation for θ :

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

−

d

mλ

θ

1

sin

Chapter 33

1108

Substitute for θ

579

and θ

577

to obtain:

( ) ( )

[ ] [ ] m m

m m

1154 . 0 sin 1158 . 0 sin

cm 2000

1

nm 577

sin

cm 2000

1

nm 579

sin

1 1

1

1

1

1 − −

−

−

−

−

− =

⎥

⎥

⎥

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎢

⎢

⎢

⎣

⎡

−

⎥

⎥

⎥

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎢

⎢

⎢

⎣

⎡

= Δθ

For m =1:

[ ] [ ]

° = ° − ° =

− = Δ

− −

02 . 0 63 . 6 65 . 6

1154 . 0 sin 1158 . 0 sin

1 1

m m θ

(b) The width of the beam necessary

for these lines to be resolved is given

by:

Nd w = (1)

Relate the resolving power of the

diffraction grating to the number of

slits N that must be illuminated in

order to resolve these wavelengths in

the mth order:

mN =

Δλ

λ

For m =1:

λ

λ

Δ

= N

Substitute for N in equation (1) to

obtain: λ

λ

Δ

=

d

w

Letting λ be the average of the

two wavelengths, substitute

numerical values and evaluate w:

( )

mm 1

nm 2

cm 2000

1

nm 578

1

=

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

−

w

67 •• [SSM] A diffraction grating that has 4800 lines per centimeter is

illuminated at normal incidence with white light (wavelength range of 400 nm to

700 nm). How many orders of spectra can one observe in the transmitted light?

Do any of these orders overlap? If so, describe the overlapping regions.

Picture the Problem We can use the grating equation ... 3, 2, 1, sin = = m , m d λ θ

to express the order number in terms of the slit separation d, the wavelength of

the light λ, and the angle θ.

Interference and Diffraction

1109

The interference maxima in the

diffraction pattern are at angles θ

given by:

λ θ m d = sin ⇒

λ

θ sin d

m =

where m =1, 2, 3, …

If one is to see the complete

spectrum, it must be true that:

1 sin ≤ θ ⇒

λ

d

m ≤

Evaluate m

max

:

98 . 2

nm 700

cm 4800

1

cm 4800

1

1

max

1

max

= = =

− −

λ

m

Because m

max

=2.98, one can see the complete spectrum only for m =1 and 2.

Express the condition for overlap:

2 2 1 1

λ λ m m ≥

One can see the complete spectrum for only the first and second order spectra.

That is, only for m =1 and 2. Because 700 nm <2 × 400 nm, there is no overlap

of the second-order spectrum into the first-order spectrum; however, there is

overlap of long wavelengths in the second order with short wavelengths in the

third-order spectrum.

68 •• A square diffraction grating that has an area of 25.0 cm

2

has a

resolution of 22 000 in the fourth order. At what angle should you look to see a

wavelength of 510 nm in the fourth order?

Picture the Problem We can use the grating equation and the resolving power of

the grating to derive an expression for the angle at which you should look to see a

wavelength of 510 nm in the fourth order.

The interference maxima in the

diffraction pattern are at angles θ

given by:

... 3, 2, 1, where

sin

=

=

m

, m d λ θ

(1)

The resolving power R is given by:

mN R =

where N is the number of slits and m is

the order number.

Relate d to the width w of the

grating:

N

w

d =

Substitute for N and simplify to

obtain: R

mw

d =

Chapter 33

1110

Substitute for d in equation (1) to

obtain:

λ θ m

R

mw

= sin ⇒ ⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

−

w

Rλ

θ

1

sin

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate θ :

( )( )

° =

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

−

0 . 13

cm 00 . 5

nm 510 000 , 22

sin

1

θ

69 •• Sodium light that has a wavelength equal to 589 nm falls normally on

a 2.00-cm-square diffraction grating ruled with 4000 lines per centimeter. The

Fraunhofer diffraction pattern is projected onto a screen a distance of 1.50 m from

the grating by a 1.50-m-focal-length lens that is placed immediately in front of the

grating. Find (a) the distance of the first and second order intensity maxima from

the central intensity maximum, (b) the width of the central maximum, and (c) the

resolution in the first order. (Assume the entire grating is illuminated.)

Picture the Problem The distance on the screen to the mth bright fringe can be

found using λ θ m d = sin (where d is the slit separation and m =0, 1, 2, …) and

the geometry of the grating and projection screen. We can use

L y Nd 2

min

Δ = = λ θ to find the width of the central maximum and R =mN,

where N is the number of slits in the grating, to find the resolving power in the

first order.

(a) The angle θ at which maxima

occur is related to the slit separation

d, the wavelength of the incident

light λ, and the order number m

according to:

λ θ m d = sin (1)

where m =0, 1, 2, … .

θ is also related to the distance to

the screen L and the positions of

the intensity maxima y

m

:

2 2

sin

m

m

y L

y

+

= θ

Substituting for sin θ in equation

(1) yields:

λ m

y L

dy

m

m

=

+

2 2

⇒

2 2 2

λ

λ

m d

L m

y

m

−

=

Substituting numerical values

yields:

( )( )

( )

2 2

2

nm 589

4000

cm 00 . 1

m 50 . 1 nm 589

m

m

y

m

−

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

Interference and Diffraction

1111

Evaluate this expression for m =1

and m =2 to obtain:

cm 4 . 36

1

= y and cm 1 . 80

2

= y

(b) The angle θ

min

that locates the

first minima in the diffraction

pattern is given by:

L

y

Nd 2

min

Δ

= =

λ

θ ⇒

Nd

L

y

λ 2

= Δ

where Δy is the width of the central

maximum.

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate Δy:

( )( )

( )

m 4 . 88

cm 4000

1

lines 8000

nm 589 m 50 . 1 2

1

μ =

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

= Δ

−

y

(c) The resolving power R in the

mth order is given by:

mN R =

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate R:

( )( ) 8000 8000 1 = = R

70 •• The spectrum of neon is exceptionally rich in the visible region.

Among the many lines are two lines at wavelengths of 519.313 nm and

519.322 nm. If light from a neon discharge tube is normally incident on a

transmission grating with 8400 lines per centimeter and the spectrum is observed

in second order, what must be the width of the grating that is illuminated, so that

these two lines can be resolved?

Picture the Problem The width of the grating w is the product of its number of

lines N and the separation of its slits d. Because the resolution of the grating is a

function of the average wavelength, the difference in the wavelengths, and the

order number, we can express w in terms of these quantities.

Express the width w of the grating as

a function of the number of lines N

and the slit separation d:

Nd w =

The resolving power R of the grating

is given by:

mN R =

Δ

=

λ

λ

⇒

λ

λ

Δ

=

m

N

Substitute for N in the expression for

w to obtain:

λ

λ

Δ

=

m

d

w

Chapter 33

1112

Letting λ be the average of the given wavelengths, substitute numerical values

and evaluate w:

( )

( )

cm 3

nm 519.313 nm 322 . 519 2

cm 8400

1

nm 519.322 nm 313 . 519

1 2

1

=

−

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

+

=

−

w

71 •• [SSM] Mercury has several stable isotopes, among them

198

Hg and

202

Hg. The strong spectral line of mercury, at about 546.07 nm, is a composite of

spectral lines from the various mercury isotopes. The wavelengths of this line for

198

Hg and

202

Hg are 546.07532 nm and 546.07355 nm, respectively. What must be

the resolving power of a grating capable of resolving these two isotopic lines in

the third-order spectrum? If the grating is illuminated over a 2.00-cm-wide region,

what must be the number of lines per centimeter of the grating?

Picture the Problem We can use the expression for the resolving power of a

grating to find the resolving power of the grating capable of resolving these two

isotopic lines in the third-order spectrum. Because the total number of the slits of

the grating N is related to width w of the illuminated region and the number of

lines per centimeter of the grating and the resolving power R of the grating, we

can use this relationship to find the number of lines per centimeter of the grating.

The resolving power of a

diffraction grating is given by:

mN R =

Δ

=

λ

λ

(1)

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate R:

5 5

10 09 . 3 10 0852 . 3

07355 . 546 07532 . 546

07532 . 546

× = × =

−

= R

Express n, be the number of lines

per centimeter of the grating, in

terms of the total number of slits

N of the grating and the width w

of the grating:

w

N

n =

From equation (1) we have:

m

R

N =

Substitute for N to obtain:

mw

R

n =

Interference and Diffraction

1113

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate n:

( )( )

1 4

5

cm 10 14 . 5

cm 00 . 2 3

10 0852 . 3

−

× =

×

= n

72 ••• A diffraction grating has n lines per unit length. Show that the angular

separation (Δθ ) of two lines of wavelengths λ and λ +Δλ is approximately

2

2 2

1

λ λ θ − =

m n

Δ Δ where m is the order number.

Picture the Problem We can differentiate the grating equation implicitly and

approximate dθ /dλ by Δθ /Δλ to obtain an expression Δθ as a function of m, n,

Δλ, and cosθ. We can use the Pythagorean identity sin

2

θ +cos

2

θ =1 and the

grating equation to write cosθ in terms of n, m, and λ. Making these substitutions

will yield the given equation.

The grating equation is:

... 2, 1, 0, sin = = , m m d λ θ (1)

Differentiate both sides of this

equation with respect to λ:

( ) ( ) λ

λ

θ

λ

m

d

d

d

d

d

= sin

or

m

d

d

d =

λ

θ

θ cos

Because n =1/d:

nm

d

d

=

λ

θ

θ cos ⇒

λ

θ

θ

d

d

m

n cos

1

=

Approximate dθ /dλ by Δθ /Δλ:

θ

λ

θ

cos

1

Δ

Δ

=

m

n

Solving for Δθ yields:

θ

λ

θ

cos

Δ

= Δ

nm

Substitute for cosθ to obtain:

θ

λ

θ

2

sin 1−

Δ

= Δ

nm

From equation (1):

λ

λ

θ nm

d

m

= = sin

Substituting for sinθ yields:

2 2 2

1 λ

λ

θ

m n

nm

−

Δ

= Δ

Chapter 33

1114

Simplify by dividing the numerator and denominator by nm to obtain:

2

2 2

2 2

2 2 2

2 2 2 1

1

1

1

λ

λ

λ

λ

λ

λ

θ

−

Δ

=

−

Δ

=

−

Δ

= Δ

m n

m n

m n

m n

nm

73 ••• [SSM] For a diffraction grating in which all the surfaces are normal

to the incident radiation, most of the energy goes into the zeroth order, which is

useless from a spectroscopic point of view, since in zeroth order all the

wavelengths are at 0º. Therefore, modern reflection gratings have shaped, or

blazed, grooves, as shown in Figure 33-45. This shifts the specular reflection,

which contains most of the energy, from the zeroth order to some higher order.

(a) Calculate the blaze angle φ

m

in terms of the groove separation d, the

wavelength λ, and the order number m in which specular reflection is to occur for

m =1, 2, . . . . (b) Calculate the proper blaze angle for the specular reflection to

occur in the second order for light of wavelength 450 nm incident on a grating

with 10 000 lines per centimeter.

Picture the Problem We can use the grating equation and the geometry of the

grating to derive an expression for φ

m

in terms of the order number m, the

wavelength of the light λ, and the groove separation d.

(a) Because θ

i

=θ

r

, application of

the grating equation yields:

( )

... 2, 1, 0, where

2 sin

i

=

=

m

, m d λ θ

(1)

Because φ and θ

i

have their left and

right sides mutually perpendicular:

m i

φ θ =

Substitute for θ

i

to obtain:

( ) λ φ m d =

m

2 sin

Solving for φ

m

yields:

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

−

d

m

λ

φ

1

2

1

m

sin

(b) For m =2:

° =

⎟

⎟

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

−

−

1 . 32

cm 000 , 10

1

nm 450

2 sin

1

1

2

1

2

φ

74 ••• In this problem, you will derive the relation mN R = = λ λ Δ

(Equation 33-27) for the resolving power of a diffraction grating containing N

slits separated by a distance d. To do this, you will calculate the angular

Interference and Diffraction

1115

separation between the intensity maximum and intensity minimum for some

wavelength λ and set it equal to the angular separation of the mth-order maximum

for two nearby wavelengths. (a) First show that the phase difference φ between

the waves from two adjacent slits is given by

φ =

2πd

λ

sinθ. (b) Next differentiate

this expression to show that a small change in angle dθ results in a change in

phase of dφ given by

dφ =

2πd

λ

cosθ dθ. (c) Then for N slits, the angular

separation between an interference maximum and an interference minimum

corresponds to a phase change of dφ =2 π/N. Use this to show that the angular

separation dθ between the intensity maximum and intensity minimum for some

wavelength λ is given by

dθ =

λ

Nd cosθ

. (d) Next use the fact that the angle of

the mth-order interference maximum for wavelength λ is specified by

λ θ m d = sin (Equation 33-26). Compute the differential of each side of this

equation to show that angular separation of the mth-order maximum for two

nearly equal wavelengths differing by dλ is given by

dθ =

mdλ

d cosθ

. (e) According

to Rayleigh’s criterion, two wavelengths will be resolved in the mth order if the

angular separation of the wavelengths, given by the Part (d) result, equals the

angular separation of the interference maximum and the interference minimum

given by the Part (c) result. Use this to arrive at mN R = = λ λ Δ (Equation 33-

27) for the resolving power of a grating.

Picture the Problem We can follow the procedure outlined in the problem

statement to obtain mN R = = λ λ Δ .

(a) Express the relationship between

the phase difference φ and the path

difference Δr:

λ π

φ r Δ

=

2

⇒

λ

π

φ

r Δ

=

2

Because Δr =dsinθ :

θ

λ

π

φ sin

2 d

=

(b) Differentiate this expression with

respect to θ to obtain:

θ

λ

π

θ

λ

π

θ θ

φ

cos

2

sin

2 d d

d

d

d

d

=

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

Solve for dφ:

θ θ

λ

π

φ d

d

d cos

2

=

(c) From Part (b):

θ π

φ λ

θ

cos 2 d

d

d =

Chapter 33

1116

Substitute 2π/N for dφ to obtain:

θ

λ

θ

cos Nd

d =

(d) Equation 33-26 is:

... 2, 1, 0, sin = = m , m d λ θ

Differentiate this expression

implicitly with respect to λ to obtain:

[ ] [ ] λ

λ

θ

λ

m

d

d

d

d

d

= sin

or

m

d

d

d =

λ

θ

θ cos

Solve for dθ to obtain:

θ

λ

θ

cos d

md

d =

(e) Equate the two expressions for

dθ obtained in (c) and (d):

θ

λ

θ

λ

cos cos d

md

Nd

=

Approximating dλ by Δλ and

allowing for the possibility that

Δλ <0 yields:

θ

λ

θ

λ

cos cos d

m

Nd

Δ

=

Solving for R =λ/Δλ yields:

mN R = =

λ

λ

Δ

General Problems

75 • [SSM] Naturally occurring coronas (brightly colored rings) are

sometimes seen around the Moon or the Sun when viewed through a thin cloud.

(Warning: When viewing a sun corona, be sure that the entire sun is blocked by

the edge of a building, a tree, or a traffic pole to safeguard your eyes.) These

coronas are due to diffraction of light by small water droplets in the cloud. A

typical angular diameter for a coronal ring is about 10º. From this, estimate the

size of the water droplets in the cloud. Assume that the water droplets can be

modeled as opaque disks with the same radius as the droplet, and that the

Fraunhofer diffraction pattern from an opaque disk is the same as the pattern from

an aperture of the same diameter. (This last statement is known as Babinet’s

principle.)

Picture the Problem We can use D λ θ 22 . 1 sin = to relate the diameter D of the

opaque-disk water droplets to the angular diameter θ of a coronal ring and to the

wavelength of light. We’ll assume a wavelength of 500 nm.

Interference and Diffraction

1117

The angle θ subtended by the first

diffraction minimum is related to the

wavelength λ of light and the

diameter D of the opaque-disk water

droplet:

D

λ

θ 22 . 1 sin =

Because of the great distance to the

cloud of water droplets, θ <<1 and:

D

λ

θ 22 . 1 ≈ ⇒

θ

λ 22 . 1

= D

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate D:

( )

m 5 . 3

180

rad

10

nm 500 22 . 1

μ

π

=

°

× °

= D

76 • An artificial corona (see Problem 75) can be made by placing a

suspension of polystyrene microspheres in water. Polystyrene microspheres are

small, uniform spheres made of plastic with an index of refraction equal to 1.59.

Assuming that the water has an index of refractive equal to 1.33, what is the

angular diameter of such an artificial corona if 5.00-μm-diameter particles are

illuminated by light from a helium–neon laser with wavelength in air of

632.8 nm?

Picture the Problem We can use D

n

λ θ 22 . 1 sin = to relate the diameter D of a

microsphere to the angular diameter θ of a coronal ring and to the wavelength of

light in water.

The angle θ subtended by the first

diffraction minimum is related to the

wavelength λ

n

of light in water and

the diameter D of the microspheres:

nD D

n

λ λ

θ 22 . 1 22 . 1 sin = =

Because θ <<1:

nD

λ

θ 22 . 1 ≈

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate θ :

( )( )

( )( )

° =

= ≈

65 . 6

rad 116 . 0

m 00 . 5 33 . 1

nm 8 . 632 22 . 1

μ

θ

77 • Coronas (see Problem 74) can be caused by pollen grains, typically of

birch or pine. Such grains are irregular in shape, but they can be treated as if they

had an average diameter of about 25 μm. What is the angular diameter (in

degrees) of the corona for blue light? What is the diameter (in degrees) of the

corona for red light?

Chapter 33

1118

Picture the Problem We can use D λ θ 22 . 1 sin = to relate the diameter D of a

pollen grain to the angular diameter θ of a coronal ring and to the wavelength of

light. We’ll assume a wavelength of 450 nm for blue light and 650 nm for red

light.

The angleα subtended by the first

diffraction intensity minima is

related to the wavelength λ of light

and to the diameter D of the

microspheres:

D

λ

α 22 . 1 sin =

or, because θ α

2

1

= where θ is the

angular diameter of the coronal ring,

D

λ

θ 22 . 1 sin

2

1

=

Because θ <<1, sinθ ≈ θ and:

D

λ

θ 22 . 1

2

1

≈ ⇒

D

λ

θ 44 . 2 ≈

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate θ for red light:

( )

° =

× = ≈

−

6 . 3

rad 10 344 . 6

m 25

nm 650 44 . 2

2

red

μ

θ

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate θ for blue light:

( )

° =

× = ≈

−

5 . 2

rad 10 392 . 4

m 25

nm 450 44 . 2

2

blue

μ

θ

78 • Light from a He-Ne laser (632.8 nm wavelength) is directed upon a

human hair, in an attempt to measure its diameter by examining the diffraction

pattern. The hair is mounted in a frame 7.5 m from a wall, and the central

diffraction maximum is measured to be 14.6 cm wide. What is the diameter of

the hair? (The diffraction pattern of a hair with diameter d is the same as the

diffraction pattern of a single slit with width a =d. See Babinet’s principle,

Problem 75.)

Picture the Problem The diagram shows the hair whose diameter d =a, the

screen a distance L from the hair, and the separation Δy of the first diffraction

peak from the center. We can use the geometry of the experiment to relate Δy to L

and a and the condition for diffraction maxima to express θ

1

in terms of the

diameter of the hair and the wavelength of the light illuminating the hair.

y

a

θ

∆

L

1

Interference and Diffraction

1119

Relate θ to Δy:

L

y Δ

=

2

1

tanθ ⇒

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛ Δ

=

−

L

y

2

tan

1

θ

Diffraction maxima occur where:

( )λ θ

2

1

sin + = m a ⇒

( )

θ

λ

sin

2

1

+

=

m

a

where m =1, 2, 3, …

Substituting for θ yields:

( )

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛ Δ

+

=

−

L

y

m

a

2

tan sin

1

2

1

λ

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate a for m =1:

( )( )

( )

m 98

m 5 . 7 2

cm 6 . 14

tan sin

nm 8 . 632 1

1

2

1

μ =

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

+

=

−

a

79 • [SSM] A long, narrow horizontal slit lies 1.00 μm above a plane

mirror, which is in the horizontal plane. The interference pattern produced by the

slit and its image is viewed on a screen 1.00 m from the slit. The wavelength of

the light is 600 nm. (a) Find the distance from the mirror to the first maximum.

(b) How many dark bands per centimeter are seen on the screen?

Picture the Problem We can apply the condition for constructive interference to

find the angular position of the first maximum on the screen. Note that, due to

reflection, the wave from the image is 180

o

out of phase with that from the source.

(a) Because y

0

<<L, the distance

from the mirror to the first maximum

is given by:

0 0

θ L y = (1)

Express the condition for

constructive interference:

( )λ θ

2

1

sin + = m d

where m =0, 1, 2, …

Solving for θ yields:

( )

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

+ =

−

d

m

λ

θ

2

1

1

sin

For the first maximum, m =0 and:

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

−

d 2

sin

1

0

λ

θ

Substitute in equation (1) to obtain:

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

−

d

L y

2

sin

1

0

λ

Chapter 33

1120

Because the image of the slit is as far

behind the mirror’s surface as the slit

is in front of it, d =2.00 μm.

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate y

0

:

( )

( )

cm 1 . 15

m 00 . 2 2

nm 600

sin m 00 . 1

1

0

=

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

−

μ

y

(b) The separation of the fringes on

the screen is given by:

d

L

y

λ

= Δ

The number of dark bands per unit

length is the reciprocal of the fringe

separation:

L

d

y

n

λ

=

Δ

=

1

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate n: ( )( )

1

m 33 . 3

m 00 . 1 nm 600

m 00 . 2

−

= =

μ

n

80 • A radio telescope is situated at the edge of a lake. The telescope is

looking at light from a radio galaxy that is just rising over the horizon. If the

height of the antenna is 20 m above the surface of the lake, at what angle above

the horizon will the radio galaxy be when the telescope is centered in the first

intensity interference maximum of the radio waves? Assume the wavelength of

the radio waves is 20 cm. Hint: The interference is caused by the light reflecting

off the lake and remember that this reflection will result in a 180º phase shift.

Picture the Problem The radio waves from the galaxy reach the telescope by two

paths; one coming directly from the galaxy and the other reflected from the

surface of the lake. The radio waves reflected from the surface of the lake are

phase shifted 180°, relative to the radio waves reaching the telescope directly, by

reflection from the surface of the lake. We can use the condition for constructive

interference of two waves to find the angle above the horizon at which the radio

waves from the galaxy will interfere constructively.

θ

d

θ

r

θ

P

Telescope

∆

Radio waves directly from galaxy

R

a

d

i

o

w

a

v

e

s

r

e

f

l

e

c

t

e

d

f

r

o

m

t

h

e

l

a

k

e

Interference and Diffraction

1121

Because the reflected radio waves are

phase shifted by 180°, the condition

for constructive interference at point

P is:

( )λ

2

1

+ = Δ m r

where m =0, 1, 2, …

Referring to the figure, note that:

d

r Δ

≈ θ sin ⇒

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡Δ

=

−

d

r

1

sin θ

Substitute for Δr to obtain:

( )

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡ +

=

−

d

m λ

θ

2

1

1

sin

Noting that m =0 for the first

interference maximum, substitute

numerical values and evaluate θ

0

:

( )

° =

× =

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

− −

29 . 0

rad 10 00 . 5

m 20

cm 20

sin

3 2

1

1

0

θ

81 • The diameter of the radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico, is 300 m.

What is the smallest angular separation of two objects that this telescope can

detect when it is tuned to detect microwaves of 3.2-cm wavelength?

Picture the Problem The resolving power of a telescope is the ability of the

instrument to resolve two objects that are close together. Hence we can use

Rayleigh’s criterion to find the resolving power of the Arecibo telescope.

Rayleigh’s criterion for resolution is:

D

λ

α 22 . 1

c

=

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate α

c

:

mrad 13 . 0

m 300

cm 2 . 3

22 . 1

c

=

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

= α

82 •• A thin layer of a transparent material that has an index of refraction of

1.30 is used as a nonreflective coating on the surface of glass that has an index of

refraction of 1.50. What should the minimum thickness of the material be for the

material to be nonreflecting for light that has a wavelength 600 nm?

Picture the Problem Note that

reflection at both surfaces involves a

phase shift of π rad. We can apply the

condition for destructive interference to

find the thickness t of the nonreflective

coating.

= 600 nm

t

Air

Coating

π

π

λ

Glass

Chapter 33

1122

The condition for destructive

interference is:

( ) ( )

coating

air

2

1

coating 2

1

2

n

m m t

λ

λ + = + =

Solve for t to obtain:

( )

coating

air

2

1

2n

m t

λ

+ =

Evaluate t for m =0:

( )

( )

nm 115

30 . 1 2

nm 600

2

1

= = t

83 •• [SSM] A Fabry–Perot interferometer (Figure 33-47) consists of two

parallel, half-silvered mirrors that face each other and are separated by a small

distance a. A half-silvered mirror is one that transmits 50% of the incident

intensity and reflects 50% of the incident intensity. Show that when light is

incident on the interferometer at an angle of incidence θ, the transmitted light will

have maximum intensity when 2a =mλ/cos θ.

Picture the Problem The Fabry-Perot

interferometer is shown in the figure.

For constructive interference in the

transmitted light the path difference

must be an integral multiple of the

wavelength of the light. This path

difference can be found using the

geometry of the interferometer.

θ

θ

θ

φ

a

A

B

C

For constructive interference we

require that:

... , 2 , 1 , 0 = = Δ m , m r λ (1)

The path difference between the two

rays that emerge from the

interferometer is given by:

φ

θ

sin AB

cos

BC AB + = + = Δ

a

r

From the geometry of the

interferometer:

° = + 90 2 φ θ ⇒ θ φ 2 90 − ° =

Interference and Diffraction

1123

Substituting for φ and AB and

simplifying gives:

( )

( ) θ

θ

θ

θ θ

θ

θ θ

cos2 1

cos

cos2

cos cos

2 90 sin

cos cos

+ =

+ =

− ° + = Δ

a

a a

a a

r

Using the trigonometric identity

1 cos 2 2 cos

2

− = θ θ and simplifying

yields:

( ) θ θ

θ

cos 2 1 cos 2 1

cos

2

a

a

r = − + = Δ

Substitute for r Δ in equation (1) to

obtain:

... , 2 , 1 , 0 cos 2 = = m , m a λ θ

Solving for 2a gives:

θ

λ

cos

2

m

a = where m =0, 1, 2, …

84 •• A mica sheet 1.20 μm thick is suspended in air. In reflected light, there

are gaps in the visible spectrum at 421, 474, 542, and 633 nm. Find the index of

refraction of the mica sheet.

Picture the Problem The gaps in the

spectrum of the visible light are the

result of destructive interference

between the incident light and the

reflected light. Noting that there is a π

rad phase shift at the first air-mica

interface, we can use the condition for

destructive interference to find the

index of refraction n of the mica sheet.

Air Mica Air

n

t

π

Because there is a π rad phase shift

at the first air-mica interface, the

condition for destructive interference

is:

... , 3 2, 1, , 2

air

mica

= = = m

n

m m t

λ

λ

Solving for n yields:

t

m n

2

air

λ

= (1)

For λ =474 nm: ( )m t nm 474 2 =

Chapter 33

1124

For λ =421 nm: ( )( ) 1 nm 421 2 + = m t

Equate these two expressions and

solve for m to obtain:

m =8 for λ =474 nm

Substitute numerical values in

equation (1) and evaluate n:

( )

58 . 1

m 20 . 1 2

nm 474

8 =

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

μ

n

85 •• [SSM] A camera lens is made of glass that has an index of refraction

of 1.60. This lens is coated with a magnesium fluoride film (index of refraction

1.38) to enhance its light transmission. The purpose of this film is to produce zero

reflection for light of wavelength 540 nm. Treat the lens surface as a flat plane

and the film as a uniformly thick flat film. (a) What minimum thickness of this

film will accomplish its objective? (b) Would there be destructive interference for

any other visible wavelengths? (c) By what factor would the reflection for light of

400 nm wavelength be reduced by the presence of this film? Neglect the variation

in the reflected light amplitudes from the two surfaces.

Picture the Problem Note that the

light reflected at both the air-film and

film-lens interfaces undergoes a π rad

phase shift. We can use the condition

for destructive interference between the

light reflected from the air-film

interface and the film-lens interface to

find the thickness of the film. In (c) we

can find the factor by which light of the

given wavelengths is reduced by this

film from . cos

2

1

2

δ ∝ I

Air

n

t

π

Film Lens

π

(a) Express the condition for

destructive interference between the

light reflected from the air-film

interface and the film-lens interface:

( ) ( )

n

m m t

air

2

1

film 2

1

2

λ

λ + = + = (1)

where m =0, 1, 2, …

Solving for t gives:

( )

n

m t

2

air

2

1

λ

+ =

Evaluate t for m =0:

( )

nm 8 . 97 nm 83 . 97

38 . 1 2

nm 540

2

1

= =

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎝

⎛

= t

Interference and Diffraction

1125

(b) Solve equation (1) for λ

air

to

obtain:

2

1

air

2

+

=

m

tn

λ

Evaluate λ

air

for m =1:

( )( )

nm 180

1

38 . 1 nm 8 . 97 2

2

1

air

=

+

= λ

No; because 180 nm is not in the visible portion of the spectrum.

(c) Express the reduction factor f as

a function of the phase difference δ

between the two reflected waves:

δ

2

1

2

cos = f (2)

Relate the phase difference to the

path difference Δr:

film

2 λ π

δ r Δ

= ⇒

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛ Δ

=

film

2

λ

π δ

r

Because Δr =2t:

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

film

2

2

λ

π δ

t

Substitute in equation (2) to obtain:

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

⎟

⎟

⎠

⎞

⎜

⎜

⎝

⎛

=

air

2

film

2

film

2

1

2

2

cos

2

cos

2

2 cos

λ

π

λ

π

λ

π

nt

t t

f

Evaluate f for λ =400 nm:

( )( )

273 . 0

nm 400

nm 83 . 97 38 . 1 2

cos

2

400

=

⎥

⎦

⎤

⎢

⎣

⎡

=

π

f

86 •• In a pinhole camera, the image is fuzzy because of geometry (rays arrive

at the film after passing through different parts of the pinhole) and because of

diffraction. As the pinhole is made smaller, the fuzziness due to geometry is

reduced, but the fuzziness due to diffraction is increased. The optimum size of the

pinhole for the sharpest possible image occurs when the spread due to diffraction

equals the spread due to the geometric effects of the pinhole. Estimate the

optimum size of the pinhole if the distance from the pinhole to the film is 10.0 cm

and the wavelength of the light is 550 nm.

Chapter 33

1126

Picture the Problem As indicated in

the problem statement, we can find the

optimal size of the pinhole by equating

the angular width of the object at the

film and the angular width of the

diffraction pattern.

2θ D

L

Object Film

Express the angular width of the a

distant object at the film in terms of

the diameter D of the pinhole and the

distance L from the pinhole to the

object:

L

D

= θ 2 ⇒

L

D

2

= θ

Using Rayleigh’s criterion, express

the angular width of the diffraction

pattern:

D

λ

θ 22 . 1

n diffractio

=

Equate these two expressions to

obtain:

D L

D λ

22 . 1

2

= ⇒ L D λ 44 . 2 =

Substitute numerical values and

evaluate D:

( )( )

mm 366 . 0

cm 0 . 10 nm 550 44 . 2

=

= D

87 •• [SSM] The Impressionist painter Georges Seurat used a technique

called pointillism, in which his paintings are composed of small, closely spaced

dots of pure color, each about 2.0 mm in diameter. The illusion of the colors

blending together smoothly is produced in the eye of the viewer by diffraction

effects. Calculate the minimum viewing distance for this effect to work properly.

Use the wavelength of visible light that requires the greatest distance between

dots, so that you are sure the effect will work for all visible wavelengths. Assume

the pupil of the eye has a diameter of 3.0 mm.

Picture the Problem We can use the geometry of the dots and the pupil of the

eye and Rayleigh’s criterion to find the greatest viewing distance that ensures that

the effect will work for all visible wavelengths.

Interference and Diffraction

1127

Dots of paint

Pupil

θ

c

α

d

L

Referring to the diagram, express

the angle subtended by the adjacent

dots:

L

d

≈ θ

Letting the diameter of the pupil of

the eye be D, apply Rayleigh’s

criterion to obtain:

D

λ

α 22 . 1

c

=

Set θ =α

c

to obtain:

D L

d λ

22 . 1 = ⇒

λ 22 . 1

Dd

L =

Evaluate L for the shortest

wavelength light in the visible

portion of the spectrum:

( )( )

( )( )

m 12

nm 400 22 . 1

mm 0 . 2 mm 0 . 3

= = L

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