MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

812 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

104 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Mabast H.

Degree: Physics (Bachelors) - Imperial College London University

Subjects offered:Physics, Maths+ 3 more

Physics
Maths
Further Mathematics
Chemistry
-Personal Statements-

“Undergraduate Physicist with lots of experience in teaching in different fields and age groups, looking to instil a passion for learning into students.”

MyTutor guarantee

PremiumTimothy N. A Level Design & Technology tutor, GCSE Design & Technolog...
£36 /hr

Timothy N.

Degree: Architecture and Environmental Engineering (Masters) - Nottingham University

Subjects offered:Physics, Maths+ 2 more

Physics
Maths
Design & Technology
-Personal Statements-

“Hi there, I have a passion for helping students achieve, and believe that with my 200+ hours of experience, we will be able to surpass the grades you want!”

£20 /hr

Jagan A.

Degree: Aeronautics and Astronautics (Masters) - Southampton University

Subjects offered:Physics, Maths

Physics
Maths

“Engineering, Maths, Physics, Structured Revision, Practice questions, Edexcel, AQA”

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

Name an experiment proving that light is wave and one that is proving that light consists of particles.

A 1.6m long string fixed at both ends vibrates at its fundamental frequency... (i)what is this frequency?

Explain why a transformer is used in electrical power lines.

How do you calculate the Earth's escape velocity?

View A Level Physics tutors

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

mtw:mercury1:status:ok