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University Physics Volume 3

Conceptual Questions

University Physics Volume 3Conceptual Questions

Conceptual Questions

4.1 Single-Slit Diffraction


As the width of the slit producing a single-slit diffraction pattern is reduced, how will the diffraction pattern produced change?


Compare interference and diffraction.


If you and a friend are on opposite sides of a hill, you can communicate with walkie-talkies but not with flashlights. Explain.


What happens to the diffraction pattern of a single slit when the entire optical apparatus is immersed in water?


In our study of diffraction by a single slit, we assume that the length of the slit is much larger than the width. What happens to the diffraction pattern if these two dimensions were comparable?


A rectangular slit is twice as wide as it is high. Is the central diffraction peak wider in the vertical direction or in the horizontal direction?

4.2 Intensity in Single-Slit Diffraction


In Equation 4.4, the parameter ββ looks like an angle but is not an angle that you can measure with a protractor in the physical world. Explain what ββ represents.

4.3 Double-Slit Diffraction


Shown below is the central part of the interference pattern for a pure wavelength of red light projected onto a double slit. The pattern is actually a combination of single- and double-slit interference. Note that the bright spots are evenly spaced. Is this a double- or single-slit characteristic? Note that some of the bright spots are dim on either side of the center. Is this a single- or double-slit characteristic? Which is smaller, the slit width or the separation between slits? Explain your responses.

Figure is an image showing red interference pattern on a black background. The central part has brighter lines. The lines are cut off at the top and bottom, seemingly enclosed between two sinusoidal waves of opposite phase.
(credit: PASCO)

4.5 Circular Apertures and Resolution


Is higher resolution obtained in a microscope with red or blue light? Explain your answer.


The resolving power of refracting telescope increases with the size of its objective lens. What other advantage is gained with a larger lens?


The distance between atoms in a molecule is about 10−8cm10−8cm. Can visible light be used to “see” molecules?


A beam of light always spreads out. Why can a beam not be created with parallel rays to prevent spreading? Why can lenses, mirrors, or apertures not be used to correct the spreading?

4.6 X-Ray Diffraction


Crystal lattices can be examined with X-rays but not UV. Why?

4.7 Holography


How can you tell that a hologram is a true three-dimensional image and that those in three-dimensional movies are not?


If a hologram is recorded using monochromatic light at one wavelength but its image is viewed at another wavelength, say 10%10% shorter, what will you see? What if it is viewed using light of exactly half the original wavelength?


What image will one see if a hologram is recorded using monochromatic light but its image is viewed in white light? Explain.

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