You are on page 1of 17

# Interference

Superposition in water
Take a photograph and print off
a picture
Show on the picture
where the waves have a
supercrest,
where they have a supertrough
Where a crest meets a trough
and the resultant
displacement is zero
Hearing superposition
1m
Same frequency from
Signal generator
Walk along a path that is one metre away
What do you hear?
Today you will...

What are coherent sources?
What is the general condition for the formation of a bright fringe?
Are Youngs fringes equally spaced?
What factors could be (i) increased or (ii) decreased, to increase the fringe spacing
Why are slits used, rather than two separate light sources, in Youngs double slits
experiment?
What are the roles of diffraction, and interference, when producing Youngs fringes?
What do we mean by diffraction?
What feature of two waves must combine in order to produce reinforcement?
What is the phase difference between two waves if they produce maximum
cancellation?
Why is total cancellation rarely achieved in practice?

Thomas Young
Newtons view that light was
questioned by young in his
Youngs double slit
experiment.

The experiment showed that
because they formed
interference patterns.

Interference patterns happen
for light, water and sound.
The Interference Pattern
The laser interference
Laser light is highly monochromatic
(only gives out 1 frequency of light)

The emitted light is also coherent
(of the same phase)

This gives a very sharp image
What are the factors that affect fringe
separation?
Fringe separation =
distance between
bright lines
Fringe separation
w = separation of the fringes (bright to bright or dark to dark)

= wavelength of the light
s = separation of the two slits
D = distance between slits and screen
w
D
s
W = D
S
Youngs Questions
Finding the wavelength of sodium light
In a two-slit apparatus the slits are 0.3 mm apart. Fringes in sodium are observed at a
distance of 1.2 m from the slits. The separation of the fringes is 2.4 mm.
1. What is the wavelength of sodium light?
2. The same light gives a fringe separation of 3.6 mm with a different pair of slits.
What is the slit separation if the distance between the slits and the fringes is the
same?

Red light of wavelength 7.0 x 10
7
m is shone at right angles through two slits of
separation 0.3 mm. Fringes are formed at a distance of 1.3 m from the slits.
3. What is the fringe spacing?
4. The same light gives a fringe spacing of 2 mm when passed through a different pair
of slits. What is the slit separation if the distance between the slits and the fringes
is the same?
In a two-slit apparatus the slits are 0.3 mm apart. White light passes through the slits
and fringes are observed at a distance of 2 m from the slits. Red light has a
wavelength of 700 nm and blue light has a wavelength of 400 nm.
5. Calculate the fringe spacing for each colour.
6. Use your answers to explain the coloured fringes seen on the screen.

W = D
S
Ripple Tank
The geometric analysis of Youngs
experiment
Youngs two-slit interference experiment
narrow
source
two slits: 1 mm
spacing or less
bright and
dark fringes
several metres several metres
screen
Bright fringe at centre
to central bright
fringe on screen

d
waves in phase:
path difference = 0
s
What is the use of knowing ?
from
source d

light combines
at distant screen
slit-screen distance L
fringe
spacing x
Geometry of two-slit experiment
x/L = sin approximately
For it to be in phase (first fringe)
= sin
-1
d/
For it to be out of phase
= sin
-1
2d/

At the first dark fringe
d sin = /2

waves in anti-phase:
path difference = /2
path difference = d sin
to dark fringe on screen
Light going to first dark fringe
The waves must be in anti-phase
\2 difference at the point on the wall
\2 = s sin
= sin
-1
2d/

s

What is this length?
O = s sin
Opposite
Sin Hypotenuse
s
s
At the first Bright fringe
First bright fringe off centre
to bright
fringe on
screen
d sin =

d
waves in phase:
path difference =
path difference = d sin

## The waves must be in phase

difference at the point on the wall
= s sin
= sin
-1
s/
s
s
s
What is the use of knowing ?
from
source d

light combines
at distant screen
slit-screen distance L
fringe
spacing x
Geometry of two-slit experiment
x/L = sin approximately
For it to be in phase (first fringe)
= sin
-1
d/
For it to be out of phase
= sin
-1
2d/