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Interference and diffraction

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Thin-Film Interference:

Thin-Film Interference Requires the thickness of a very thin surface to vary from the top to the bottom. When the light reflects off the front surface is a multiple of ¼ of the wavelength of the light reflecting of the back surface, the waves interfere to reinforce a specific color. The colors change as the thickness of the film changes, and the ¼  is met at different locations for different colors.

Two-Slit Interference:

Two-Slit Interference When light passes through two parallel slits, the light is diffracted, and spreads out. The spreading light resulting from each slit overlaps. A pattern of alternating bright and dark bands forms on an observing screen, resulting from constructive and destructive interference of light waves from the two slits.

Effects of Changing Wavelength and Source Distance:

Effects of Changing Wavelength and Source Distance

Effect of Wavelength on Interference Effects:

Effect of Wavelength on Interference Effects The nodal and anti-nodal lines spread farther apart as the wavelength gets larger

Effect of Distance On Interference Effects:

Effect of Distance On Interference Effects The nodal and anti-nodal lines spread farther apart as the sources come closer together.

Two-Slit Interference Pattern:

Two-Slit Interference Pattern

Diffraction:

Diffraction The bending of light around an obstacle or through a small opening. Because wavelengths of light are so small, you usually don’t see light diffraction. The interference patterns are very small. Diffraction grating – a piece of glass or plastic with thousands of parallel slits placed very close together.

Example of Diffraction:

Example of Diffraction

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