Single Slit Diffraction
Name: Adam M.
How do you explain single slit diffraction to a general Physics student?
Single slit diffraction works under the same principle as double slit. The slit has a width.
Signal emanates forward from everywhere between the slit's sides. IMAGINE the slit as two
halves. Consider an angle where light from the left edge of one half is perfectly out of phase
with light from the left edge of the other half. At that same angle, light from every location
in one half is put of phase with light from the corresponding location in the other half. All
together, one half cancels the other: completely destructive interference, a dark spot. A
single slit is like two "half-slits" that actually touch each other.
Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Illinois Central College
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Update: June 2012