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You are on page 1of 28

Interference

Jacque Lynn F. Gabayno, Ph.D

Lecture Notes

Department of Physics, Mapua Institute of

Technology, Intramuros Manila

Diffraction Phenomena

than the dimension of the aperture

Diffraction

The bending of light around an obstacle or barrier.

L

The optical path difference

between r1 and r2 manifests itself

as intensity variation on a screen a

distance L from an aperture of

width a, i.e.

Intensity Minimum

"r = r2 # r1 = m$

Intensity Maximum

$ 1'

"r = r2 # r1 = & m + )*

! % 2(

3

Diffraction from a Single Slit

Intensity Maximum: m=0

m: diffraction orders

(bright fringe) m = 0; zeroth diff. order

# 1$ (central maximum)

% m + & ! = a sin "

' 2( m = 1,2,3, ..; higher diff.

orders

Intensity Minimum:

(dark fringe)

m" = asin #

Diffraction pattern (one slit)

m=-3 m=3

Diffraction from a Single Slit

Intensity Distribution

Diffraction Pattern

5

The width of the central diffraction order decreases with increasing slit width.

Example: Diffraction from a Single Slit

Light of wavelength 400 nm is incident on a

single slit of width 15 mm. If a screen is placed

2.5 m from the slit, how far is the first minimum

from the central maximum?

a a a a a a

Example: Diffraction from a Single

Slit

Calculate the width of the central maximum of a

single slit diffraction pattern if the distance from

the slit to the screen is 2 m, the wavelength is 500

nm and for slit sizes:

a) 0.1 mm, and

b) 0.001 mm.

INTERFERENCE

DEFINITION - the superposition of two or more waves

that meet at a point in space.

IMPORTANT CRITERIA

The light source should be monochromatic and

coherent light.

Monochromatic a light of single color/

wavelength.

Coherent a light that has the same frequency or

TYPES of INTERFERENCE

Constructive Interference (Reinforcement)

When waves from two or more sources arrive at a

"r = m !

Destructive Interference (Cancellation)

The total amplitude is zero or cancels out each other

in space, they are out of phase.

( 1%

"r = & m + # !

' 2$

Youngs Double-Slit Experiment

At a point P on

the screen,

Intensity is maximum:

m" = d sin #

Intensity is minimum:

# 1$

% m + & ! = d sin "

' 2(

Distance between bright

!

fringes, y is independent "L m = 0, 1, 2, 3,...

of m, i.e.:

d 10

Intensity Distribution of 2 slits (without diffraction effects)

"L 2 "! #

I = 4 I o cos $ %

d &2'

where

2#dy

! "=

$L

The intensity is maximum if the phase difference, , is an integer multiple

of 2 or if dsin is an integer multiple of .

The maximum intensity is 4 times the intensity of! the illumination coming

from one of the two slits. (i.e. Imax = N2Io)

The intensity fringes are evenlyIo -spaced

intensitybyof(light

L/d).coming from one slit

Intensity Distribution of 2 slits (with diffraction effects)

diffraction order interference maxima within the

CENTRAL DIFFRACTION

envelop:

" d%

Double slit

n P,max = $2 ' ( 1

interference # a&

pattern

Increasing the slit separation d OR

decreasing the slit width a increases

the number of bright (interference)

fringes.

!

Intensity Distribution (Multiple Slits)

N>2

Secondary

maxima

N=2 Principal

maxima

Real scenario

and secondary) fringes also increases.

The number of secondary (interference) maxima within the diffraction

envelop for N-slits are: nS,max = N - 2.

The total number of minima between principal maxima, nmin = N -1.

Example: Diffraction from a Double Slit

A screen is placed 3.0-m from a two-slit setup

with the slits separated by 15-mm. If the

wavelength is 400 nm, how far apart are the bright

fringes?

Exercises: Diffraction and Interference

1. For a two-slit system, how many interference maxima

will be contained in the central maximum if the slit

separation d is 5 times greater than a?

separation is d = 0.1 mm and width is a.

a) Find a if the 5th interference maximum is at the

same angle as the 1st diffraction minimum.

b) How many bright interference fringes will be

seen in the central diffraction?

Real Diffraction Patterns

(a) (c) (d)

(b)

(b) Double Slit

(c) Circular aperture

(d) Optical Fiber

(e) Square aperture

(f) Rectangular aperture

Application: Holography

17

Application: Michelson*

Interferometer

Surface imaging

Shearography

Metrology and calibration

18

Exercise 1.

Two coherent point sources S1 and S2 have

same wavelength of 400 nm. The distance of S1

from a point P is 2.4 x 103 nm while that of S2 is

1.4 x 103 nm. Will the waves of the two point

sources interfere constructively or destructively?

Describe the phase difference of the two waves

arriving at P.

Exercise 2.

Laser light at 633 nm falls on a double-slit apparatus with

slit separation of 6.5 m. A screen is placed 0.15 m from

the slits.

What is the separation distance of the adjacent

bright fringes?

Sketch the interference pattern (ignoring

diffraction effects) assuming the slit widths are

very narrow.

What will happen to the interference pattern if

you increase the slit separation?

Exercise 3.

Laser light at 633 nm falls on a double-slit apparatus.

Suppose the slits have widths equal to one-fifth of the slit

separation.

Determine the number of bright fringes in the central

bright maximum.

Sketch the diffraction pattern.

Exercise 4.

Consider the diffraction pattern shown in the figure below.

How many slits produced the diffraction pattern?

If the maximum intensity of the pattern is 10 mW/m2,

what is the intensity of the light passing through each

slit?

Next topic: Special Relativity

Soon: Quiz #4

Diffraction Patterns: Simulation

a=2

a=4

a=8

a = 16

Normalized Intensity Distribution: Simulation

Slit width

Diffraction Patterns: Simulation

N=1

N=3

N=4

Normalized Intensity Distribution: Simulation

Diffraction Patterns: Simulation

a = .2mm a = .4mm

a = .6mm a = .8mm

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