MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

498 views

Why does a single slit diffraction pattern occur?

When light passes through a narrow gap it will diffract (spread out). This means the light reaching the screen could have come from anywhere within the slit. If one wavefront passes through the left of the slit and another through the right, when they meet they will have travelled slightly different distances - these distances are called the path length and the difference between them is the path difference. 

 

As the waves meet, they will interfere (their displacements add together). If the wavefronts are no longer alligned due to the path difference, the waves can begin to cancel out casing dark spots to appear. No light appears on the screen when the two waves meeting are antiphase (peak meets a trough) as the dispacements always sum to zero. This occurs when the path difference is a half-integer number of wavelengths. A bright spot appears when the waves are in phase and the paths difference is equal to an integer multiple of wavelengths.

 

For dark fringes:

a*sin(θ= nλ      (is the width of the slit. λ is the wavelenth of the light. n is any integer)

A little note: monochromatic (light of a single wavelengh) is used to make the dark and bright spots clear to see. Look at the equation and think about why light of many colours would make this difficult.

Jordan H. GCSE Maths tutor, A Level Maths tutor, GCSE Physics tutor, ...

2 years ago

Answered by Jordan, an A Level Physics tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

71 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Noam T.

Degree: Mathematics with Mathematical Physics (Bachelors) - University College London University

Subjects offered: Physics, Maths

Physics
Maths

“About Myself: I am an undergraduate student at UCL studying Mathematics with Mathematical Physics. Hoping to go into research after my degree, I have a true passion for my subjects and my aim is to pass on that passion to students in ...”

£20 /hr

Raghav A.

Degree: Chemical Engineering (Masters) - Bath University

Subjects offered: Physics, Maths+ 2 more

Physics
Maths
Chemistry
-Personal Statements-

“If you are looking for a tutor who is not only approachable and passionate about his subjects, but willing to go the extra mile, I am here to help”

£20 /hr

Michael O.

Degree: MSci Theoretical Physics (Masters) - Birmingham University

Subjects offered: Physics, Maths+ 2 more

Physics
Maths
Further Mathematics
-Personal Statements-

“I'm a Theoretical Physics student at the University of Birmingham. In my eyes, our goal as Physicists is to understand everything and anything that the universe presents us with, and as such, is a subject which brings together so many...”

About the author

Jordan H.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: MPhys Physics with Professional Experience (Masters) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: Physics, Maths+ 2 more

Physics
Maths
Chemistry
Biology

“Hi, I'm Jordan, a first year Physics undergraduate hoping to help both A-level and GCSE students in Maths and Physics.”

You may also like...

Posts by Jordan

How do control rods work in a nuclear fission reactor?

Why does a single slit diffraction pattern occur?

Other A Level Physics questions

Two cars start at point A. Car 1 moves in a direction at 5 m/s. After 10 seconds car 2 accelerates in the same direction as car 1 at 2m/s^2. At what time after car 1 starts moving and distance from A does car 2 pass car 1?

What is simple harmonic motion?

How is a piezoelectric crystal used to generate waves of ultrasound?

What does the double slit experiment tell us about light?

View A Level Physics tutors

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok