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**Chapter 25: Interference and Diffraction**

Constructive and Destructive Interference The Michelson Interferometer Thin Films Young’s Double Slit Experiment Gratings Diffraction Resolution of Optical Instruments

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**§25.1 Constructive and Destructive Interference**

Two waves are coherent if they maintain a fixed phase relationship (waves from the same source). Two waves are incoherent otherwise (waves from different sources). Could incorporate personal response system questions from the College Physics by G/R/R 2E ARIS site ( Instructor Resources: CPS by eInstruction, Chapter 25, Questions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8.

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**Constructive interference occurs when two waves are in phase**

Constructive interference occurs when two waves are in phase. To be in phase, the points on the wave must have =(2)m, where m is an integer. When coherent waves are in phase, the resulting amplitude is just the sum of the individual amplitudes. The energy content of a wave depends on A2. Thus, IA2.

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**The resulting amplitude and intensity are:**

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Destructive interference occurs when two waves are a half cycle out of phase. To be out of phase the points on the wave must have =(2)(m+½), where m is an integer.

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**The resulting amplitude and intensity are:**

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Coherent waves can become out of phase if they travel different distances to the point of observation. P d S2 S1 S1 and S2 are a source of waves. This represents the extra path length (l) that the wave from S2 must travel to reach point P.

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**When both waves travel in the same medium the interference conditions are:**

For constructive interference where m = an integer. For destructive interference where m = an integer.

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**Example (text problem 25. 1): A 60**

Example (text problem 25.1): A 60.0 kHz transmitter sends an EM wave to a receiver 21 km away. The signal also travels to the receiver by another path where it reflects from a helicopter. Assume that there is a 180 phase shift when the wave is reflected. (a) What is the wavelength of this EM wave?

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Example continued: (b) Will this situation give constructive interference, destructive inference, or something in between? The path length difference is l = 10 km = 2, a whole number of wavelengths. Since there is also a 180 phase shift there will be destructive interference.

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**§25.2 Michelson Interferometer**

In the Michelson interferometer, a beam of coherent light is incident on a beam splitter. Half of the light is transmitted to mirror M1 and half is reflected to mirror M2. Could incorporate personal response system questions from the College Physics by G/R/R 2E ARIS site ( Instructor Resources: CPS by eInstruction, Chapter 25, Question 5.

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**The beams of light are reflected by the mirrors, combined together, and observed on the screen.**

If the arms are of different lengths, a phase difference between the beams can be introduced.

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Example (text problem 25.12): A Michelson interferometer is adjusted so that a bright fringe appears on the screen. As one of the mirrors is moved 25.8 m, 92 bright fringes are counted on the screen. What is the wavelength of the light used in the interferometer? Moving the mirror a distance d introduces a path length difference of 2d. The number of bright fringes (N) corresponds to the number of wavelengths in the extra path length.

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§25.3 Thin Films When an incident light ray reflects from a boundary with a higher index of refraction, the reflected wave is inverted (a 180° phase shift is introduced). Could incorporate personal response system questions from the College Physics by G/R/R 2E ARIS site ( Instructor Resources: CPS by eInstruction, Chapter 25, Question 6.

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**A light ray can be reflected many times within a medium.**

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**Example (text problem 25. 18): A thin film of oil (n=1**

Example (text problem 25.18): A thin film of oil (n=1.50) of thickness 0.40 m is spread over a puddle of water (n=1.33). For which wavelength in the visible spectrum do you expect constructive interference for reflection at normal incidence? Air Water Oil Consider the first two reflected rays. r1 is from the air-oil boundary and r2 is from the oil-water boundary. Incident wave r1 has a 180 phase shift (noil >nair), but r2 does not (noil<nwater).

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Example continued: To get constructive interference, the reflected waves must be in phase. For this situation, this means that the wave that travels in oil must travel an extra path equal to multiples of half the wavelength of light in oil. The extra path distance traveled is 2d, where d is the thickness of the film. The condition for constructive interference here is: Only the wavelengths that satisfy this condition will have constructive interference.

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**m air(m) 2.40 1 0.80 2 0.48 3 0.34 4 0.27 Make a table:**

Example continued: Make a table: m air(m) 2.40 1 0.80 2 0.48 3 0.34 4 0.27 All of these wavelengths will show constructive interference, but it is only this one that is in the visible portion of the spectrum.

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**§25.4 Young’s Double-Slit Experiment**

Place a source of coherent light behind a mask that has two vertical slits cut into it. The slits are L tall, their centers are separated by d, and their widths are a. Could incorporate personal response system questions from the College Physics by G/R/R 2E ARIS site ( Instructor Resources: CPS by eInstruction, Chapter 25, Questions 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, and 19.

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**The slits become sources of waves that, as they travel outward, can interfere with each other.**

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**The pattern seen on the screen**

There are alternating bright/dark spots. An intensity trace

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**The bright spots occur where there is constructive interference:**

where m is an integer and is called the “order”. The dark spots occur where there is destructive interference:

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**The condition for constructive interference isL**

Example (text problem 25.28): Show that the interference fringes in a double-slit experiment are equally spaced on a distant screen near the center of the interference pattern. The condition for constructive interference isL Symbol definition: h is the distance between the central maximum and the fringe of interest. From the geometry of the problem,

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**The distance between two adjacent minima is:**

Example continued: The screen is far away compared to the distance between the slits (D>>d) so tan sin . Here, The distance between two adjacent minima is:

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§25.5 Gratings A grating has a large number of evenly spaced, parallel slits cut into it. Could incorporate personal response system questions from the College Physics by G/R/R 2E ARIS site ( Instructor Resources: CPS by eInstruction, Chapter 25, Question 11.

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Example (text problem 25.38): Red light with =650 nm can be seen in three orders in a particular grating. About how many rulings per cm does this grating have? For each of the maxima Third order is observed. This order is not observed.

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Example continued: Since the m = 4 case is not observed, it must be that sin4>1. We can then assume that 390°. This gives and

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§ Diffraction Using Huygens’s principle: every point on a wave front is a source of wavelets; light will spread out when it passes through a narrow slit. Could incorporate personal response system questions from the College Physics by G/R/R 2E ARIS site ( Instructor Resources: CPS by eInstruction, Chapter 25, Questions 7, 16, 17, and 20. Diffraction is appreciable only when the slit width is nearly the same size or smaller than the wavelength.

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**The intensity pattern on the screen.**

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The minima occur when: where m = 1, 2,…

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Example (text problem 25.49): Light from a red laser passes through a single slit to form a diffraction pattern on a distant screen. If the width of the slit is increased by a factor of two, what happens to the width of the central maximum on the screen? The central maximum occurs between =0 and as determined by the location of the 1st minimum in the diffraction pattern: Let m =+1 and assume that is small. From the previous picture, only determines the half-width of the maximum. If a is doubled, the width of the maximum is halved.

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**§26.8 Resolution of Optical Instruments**

The effect of diffraction is to spread light out. When viewing two distant objects, it is possible that their light is spread out to where the images of each object overlap. The objects become indistinguishable.

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**For a circular aperture, the Rayleigh criterion is:**

For a circular aperture, the Rayleigh criterion is: where a is the aperture size of your instrument, is the wavelength of light used to make the observation, and is the angular separation between the two observed bodies.

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To resolve a pair of objects, the angular separation between them must be greater than the value of .

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Example (text problem 25.56): The radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico, has a reflecting spherical bowl of 305 m diameter. Radio signals can be received and emitted at various frequencies at the focal point of the reflecting bowl. At a frequency of 300 MHz, what is the angle between two stars that can barely be resolved?

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**Summary Conditions for Constructive/Cestructive Interference**

Thin Films Young’s Experiment Gratings Diffraction Rayleigh Criterion

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