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Objective

To verify the general form of single slit diffraction pattern. To approximate the wavelength of the laser light. To
verify the equation for the position of the pattern.

Introduction
When light passes around the edge of an object, it bends slightly. This phenomenon is called diffraction. The
relative size of the wavelength to the size of the opening of the slit decides the amount of bending. The bending
would be unnoticeable if the wavelength of light is less than the opening. If both have size equal or near, the
bending would be visible and can easily be seen with naked eye.

When coherent light falls on a narrow slit and then viewed on a display screen and the screen is sufficiently far
away i.e. much greater than the slit width, we can use Fraunhofer approximation to describe the intensity of light.
The lights waves bend and form bright and dark fringes.

Two crusts meet each other and form a bright fringe. If one crust and one trough meet with each other, then a
dark fringe is formed. The working equation of the experiment is given as:
a sin θ = m λ (Position of dark Fringes)
where,
a = width of the slit or aperture
λ = wavelength of the light used
θ = angle from the central axis of the apparatus
m = 1,2,3,….. (counting number specifying the order of the dark fringes (minimum).
The diffraction pattern graphically as follows:
Experimental Setup:

Figure 1 : The fringes along with the ruler

Results and Discussion

Constants

L (mm) 1448.1

a (mm) 0.100

ΔL (mm) 5

Δa (mm) 0.005

Δl (mm) 5

ΔL/L 0.345%

Δa/a 5.000%

center pixel 479

pixel / mm 4.748
pixel/mm Calculation

Ruler Position mm pixels

Left 0 2033

Right 230 3125

Single Slit Diffraction Analysis

m (order pixels l (mm) θ (rad) λ (meters) [Δl/l] [Δλ/λ] Δλ (meters)


of
minimum) tan-1(l/L) (a sinθ/ m) relative relative absolute

uncertainty uncertainty uncertainty

in l in λ in λ

-7 135.07 -72.4 -0.04993 7.129 x 10-7 6.9% 8.5% 6.1 x 10-8

-6 181.19 -62.6 -0.04323 7.203 x 10-7 8.0% 9.4% 6.8 x 10-8

-5 230.6 -52.2 -0.03606 7.210 x 10-7 9.6% 10.8% 7.8 x 10-8

-4 278.37 -42.2 -0.02912 7.278 x 10-7 11.9% 12.9% 9.4 x 10-8

-3 326.14 -32.1 -0.02217 7.391 x 10-7 15.6% 16.4% 1.2 x 10-8

-2 373.91 -22.1 -0.01523 7.614 x 10-7 22.7% 23.2% 1.8 x 10-8

-1 424.97 -11.3 -0.00780 7.803 x 10-7 44.2% 44.5% 3.5 x 10-8

1 527.09 10.2 0.00705 7.050 x 10-7 49.0% 49.2% 3.5 x 10-8

2 579.80 21.3 0.01472 7.357 x 10-7 23.5% 24.0% 1.8 x 10-8

3 627.57 31.4 0.02166 7.220 x 10-7 15.9% 16.7% 1.2 x 10-8

4 680.28 42.5 0.02932 7.330 x 10-7 11.8% 12.8% 9.4 x 10-8

5 728.05 52.5 0.03626 7.251 x 10-7 9.5% 10.8% 7.8 x 10-8

6 777.46 62.9 0.04344 7.237 x 10-7 7.9% 9.4% 6.8 x 10-8

7 830.17 74.0 0.05109 7.295 x 10-7 6.8% 8.4% 6.1 x 10-8


Figure 2: Distance VS. Intensity of light generated by Fiji Software

The graph of distance VS. the intensity of light graph is generated using Fiji software. According to the graph,
the intensity of light is greater near the center and the intensity decreases as we move away from the center. The
intensity decreases due to diffraction of light. Due to diffraction of light, there is unequal distribution of light on
the screen.

Analysis:
Graph with best fit line and along with the equation of best fit is given as:

According to the best fit line, the relation of a sinθ = m λ is being followed with a slight error near the center of
the slit. This is due to the human error of not placing the source of light in the center. The intensity graph obtained
from the Fiji software has variation with the theoretical graph. Here, the intensity does not exactly go to zero i.e.
adjacent fringe is not exactly dark as compared to the theoretical graph.

Uncertainty Analysis
According to the Uncertainty principle, if we want to measure the position of the particles accurately, then
momentum cannot be measured accurately. Similarly, if we want to measure the momentum (or wavelength) of
the particles accurately, then position of the particles becomes inaccurate. The uncertainty of the experiment is
related to the values of ‘m’ in the experiment. When the magnitude of ‘m’ is small, then the uncertainty would be
greater. Similarly, greater the magnitude of ‘m’ lesser would be the uncertainty according to the equation of
uncertainty given as:

Conclusion
After observing the whole result, it is concluded that the width of the slit has an impact on the pattern
of the laser beam. Diffraction becomes smaller as we increase the slit width. So, the slit width and diffraction
pattern show an inversely proportional to each other. This result agrees with the theoretical relationship. The
experimental value of the wavelength of laser beam was calculated which was between 712nm to 729nm using a
slit with a separation of 0.1mm. For reducing the errors in the experiment, it is advised to do repeated trials to get
less error in the result. Care should be taken while marking the position of dark fringes either manually or on the
software because the deviations in the distance will cause an error in the calculation of wavelength.