Physics Photo of the Week
April 2, 2004
Donald F. Collins
Diffraction from a single slit.
Laser lignt shines through a single narrow vertical slit, but instead
of the image of the slit, the image shows a central maximum flanked by
alternating light and dark fringes. This phenomenon can only be
explained by treating light as waves. If light were made of tiny
particles, we would see the geometric outline of the slit, with sharp
edges and no fringes.
Photo by Elli Bonnett.
At right is the light intensity profile
of the diffraction pattern for an image similar to the one
above. The profile is obtained by means of projecting
the image on a CCD camera and plotting the pixel value as a function of
position. This is a project from Physics II, (Phy 252) at Warren