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How is the width of a slit related to the intensity of light passing through it?

Here's a question I got in my final exam this morning. "If in a Young's double slit experiment setup, the ratio of intensity of the bright spot to the dark spot is 25:9, what is the ratio of the width ...
3
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2answers
288 views

Probability wave speed of dispersion and interference

I'm a layperson learning about quantum mechanics and probability waves. My understanding is that the probability wave for the position of a particle disperses throughout all of the universe. I have ...
3
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2answers
80 views

Michelson interferometer interference pattern [duplicate]

My friend and I recently did an experiment on Lasers where we shot a laser beam through a Michelson interferometer and observed the interference pattern on the wall. Here is the basic setup: One ...
3
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2answers
162 views

Shooting a single photon through a double slit

Consider the image below. It shows a double slit experiment but with a single photon at a time. My question is as follows: Why is it that the photons always take a different path when shot at the ...
3
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1answer
98 views

How can I easily explain interference to a tour group?

I'm looking for unique and illustrative ways to explain the phenomenon of interference to a tour group consisting of all types of people, from elementary school kids to adults. I run into this ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Describing quantum intereference with only currents and densities

I know about and believe to understand the general wave equation based Kirchhoff diffraction formula, which in the Fraunhofer limit leads to a farfield complex wave function by Fourier transforming ...
3
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1answer
751 views

Why do I hear beats through headphones only at low frequencies?

I was recently playing with this Wolfram Demonstrations applet, which demonstrates beats. At first I thought the app didn't work because I couldn't hear any beats. Then I realized that the applet ...
3
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1answer
116 views

How to check whether Schrödinger's cat was in superposition of states?

Suppose we can make an arbitrarily precise preparation of a Schrödinger's cat (and isolate it arbitrarily well so that decoherence is not a problem). If we prepare lots of cats in this state, what ...
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2answers
65 views

Mechanical pulse reflection

When we have a rope with one fixed end and we send a pulse through it, the reflected pulse is inverted. My question is as follows - is it correct to say that near the end (when the pulse hits the ...
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2answers
1k views

White light diffraction

I have a hard time understanding why light waves of different wavelengths diffract in a different manner. According to Huygens' principle, every point on the wavefront is a source of a secondary wave. ...
3
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1answer
537 views

Single photon interference experiment

In short: the question is, does the length of the path affect the outcome of detecting a photon? Consider the single photon beam splitter experiment. Does the probability of detecting the photon ...
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0answers
52 views

Fastest path of light [duplicate]

Fermat's principle of least time says that light always takes the fastest path to any point. So how can light know which is the fastest path without taking all the paths first?
3
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2answers
153 views

Period of double slit experiment

What is the period of the pattern from the double slit experiment? It varies along the pattern right? Namely I'm confused because when considering two point sources (See: Period of Interference ...
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0answers
78 views

What is three-photon interference?

Whilst reading this paper on a quantum processor that performs a type of matrix computation, I came across the concept of 'three-photon interference'. A quick Google search shows that this process is ...
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4answers
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Difference Between Fraunhofer and Fresnel Diffraction

What is the difference between Fraunhofer diffraction and Fresnel diffraction? I mean diffraction is just bending of light waves or waves in general around a point. So how can there be two types of ...
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4answers
16k views

What is the difference between diffraction and interference of light? [duplicate]

I know these two phenomena but I want to know a little deep explanation. What type of fringes are obtained in these phenomena?
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2answers
409 views

A question on intereference experiment with water waves as given in the Feynman Lectures on Physics

I have a question related to the interference (thought)experiment with water waves given in the book Feynman Lectures on Physics Vol.3. When only one hole (hole 1) is open the measured wave intensity ...
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3answers
2k views

Why is it difficult to differentiate between interference and diffraction?

Why is it difficult to differentiate between interference and diffraction? Is it because we don't clearly understand how both of these phenomenon takes place? My thoughts: From an answer to one of ...
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3answers
870 views

What does the differential of $d_s\sin(\theta) = m\lambda$ help us see, with respect to waves through diffraction gratings?

With respect to waves traveling through a diffraction grating, we have an equation like this one: $$d_s\sin(\theta) = m\lambda.$$ Where $d_s$ is the distance between slits in the grating, $\theta$ is ...
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1answer
501 views

Wave superposition, is my textbook wrong?

Here's the question: Two coherent electromagnetic waves are incident simultaneously at some point in space. The intensity of each independent wave is $I_0$. What is the intensity of the superposition ...
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3answers
299 views

Does interference take place only in waves parallel to each other?

The title says it all but I will add some details. I believe that interference takes place only in waves which are parallel to each other. See the picture to understand what I mean by parallel. We ...
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2answers
196 views

How to interpret single photon interference when the two possible paths are different in length?

Here is my question. I struggle with the definition of single photon interference. Let’s assume we have a Michelson interferometer and the interference pattern we observe is a single photon result, ...
2
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3answers
87 views

Is wave superposition always equivalent to wave interference?

I'm confused when using these 2 words "wave superposition" and "wave interference" since their definition is very similar. So, are these 2 term the same?
2
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2answers
58 views

Where the extra power comes from?

Suppose we have two radio waveforms each has amplitude of 1, then the total power is 2. Suppose these two waveforms add up some where constructively, then the amplitude become 2, and the total power ...
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3answers
103 views

Violation of conservation of energy?

Imagine a perfectly spherical mirror with 100% reflection. Imagine a point source of light in the center. The point source keeps radiating light. Will the light undergo destructive interference ...
2
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1answer
148 views

Thin-wedge Interference Problems (Classical Waves Problem)

I would like to solve the problem on the following image: My question is: Why is the answer to (a) a minimum? When the light wave hits the top surface of the top glass, a wave will be reflected ...
2
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1answer
57 views

Interference and energy question here

So Im reading this material on interference and I noted the following sentence : During the interference of the light of two coherent light sources,the intensity of the radiation changes ...
2
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3answers
301 views

Do interference rings disappear in an interferometer if the path lengths are identical?

Consider a standard Michelson Interferometer (I took the picture from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interferometer) The incident beam is split into two parts, where the two parts travel on different ...
2
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2answers
190 views

Sound Wave out of phase

I connected my speakers to my sound system switching the +ve and -ve one of the speakers I can notice them beating out of phase but how come I don't hear any difference and at what position will it ...
2
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2answers
92 views

How fast is wave propagation in interference?

When someone performs Young's Double Slit experiment, the person sees an interference pattern on the screen. What is the time taken to for the pattern to appear on the screen? Is it distance between ...
2
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1answer
151 views

Does putting color filters make the sources incoherent?

In Young's double slit experiment a single source is used to illuminate two slits which then acts as two coherent sources to produce interference pattern. But, what if I put color filters on the two ...
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2answers
488 views

Can we observe diffraction even if the slit size is tending to zero?

According to Huygens principle, if we consider any point of the primary wave fronts, each point is the source of secondary disturbance. If the point size we consider tends to zero, the number of ...
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1answer
87 views

Interference of two differently polarised beams

I would like to ask how the result of interference changes with the change of polarisation angle difference? Obviously we get the best results for 2 parallel polarised beams, and no intensity ...
2
votes
1answer
430 views

Diffracton at the edges of an opaque object?

To understand the phenomenon of diffraction as an interference effects of several dipole oscillators (like in case of several symmetrical, not sawtooth, scratches in a diffraction grating), we ...
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3answers
280 views

Can random constructive interference with sound waves cause damage?

Any two sound waves have a random chance to constructively interfere with each other at a given spot and this will cause an increase or decrease in pressure. So is it possible that a large number of ...
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1answer
333 views

Fringe Pattern Brightness for Young's Double-slit experiment

Perhaps I have missed something in my notes, but I have noticed when looking at different sources that some textbooks/sites state that the fringe brightness for the young's experiment is the same for ...
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2answers
293 views

Interference at the focus of a convex lens or a concave mirror

Now consider parallel rays travelling towards the convex lens. After emerging they get converged at the focus. Won't this lead to interference between light rays? Practically it should but I would ...
2
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1answer
92 views

Can the motion of a cracking whip be described as the interference of two waves?

I was watching a whip crack in slow motion and I noticed that the motion of the whip could be described using two different circular descriptions. 1) the user circles the whip around over his head, ...
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2answers
292 views

Double-slit expirement fundamentals (half-silvered mirror version)

In the double-slit experiment variation in which 2 half-silvered mirrors and 2 mirrors are used to illustrate the interference of a stream of photons or single photons at a given time step, how is it ...
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1answer
4k views

How to calculate the intensity of the interference of two waves in a given point? [closed]

There are two different point sources which produce spherical waves with the same power, amplitude, ω, wavenumber and phase. I can calculate the intensity of each wave in a point: $$ I_1 = P / (4 ...
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1answer
311 views

Considering the wave function is not 'real', what is interfering?

I find the idea of the wave function being 'just' a collection of numbers (probabilities) quite alluring, and elegant in explaining away the whole 'collapse' business (see Luboš' answer to this ...
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1answer
66 views

Modified double-slit experiment - two electron sources instead of two slits

In the famous double-slit experiment, if I inserted two identical sources (i.e electron guns) at the locations of the slits, would I still see an interference pattern on the screen? I would allow ...
2
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1answer
88 views

Why does a double-slit experiment with sound waves never result in complete destructive interference?

Today, I find a question that if the speakers are set in parallel towards the wall. It has no complete destructive interference due to difference in distance from the point to each speakers, which ...
2
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1answer
54 views

How does energy get transfered from destructive interference point to constructive one?

If there are two pressure waves (like sound waves) that travel in opposite directions and have the same amplitude then destructive interference occurs: one wave will compress the air particle (here ...
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2answers
70 views

Coherence length interference pattern

I recently watched this video that illustrates a laser's coherence length: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LixwAXsN8vg I've learned in class that coherence length of a laser with several wavelengths ...
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1answer
165 views

Coherence length requirement for interference

One property of light sources that is usually stated, which is of particular importance when trying to create interference fringes, is the coherence length (or coherence time). The equation for the ...
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1answer
63 views

Everyone calls Electromagnetic Induced Transparencyan interference phenomenon, but is it also an interference phenomenon in classical systems?

Electromagnetically induced transparency is a hot topic in physics. However I'm curious about its mechanics in physics. Physicists think that it's a phenomenon of interference from transition of two ...
2
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1answer
65 views

Optical fibre modes and intensity pattern

I shine laser line in front of one side of multimode optical fibre.Light coming out of other side is projected into wall.Whether the intensity pattern seen on wall is same as the mode of propagation ...
2
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1answer
87 views

Interference - the shortest way from the point of constructive one to the point of destructive one

So this is a problem from Polish maturity exam. The image shows 2 speakers (G1, G2) and point B. The wavelength of sound coming from both speakers is 0.155 m, and the wave coming from both speakers ...
2
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1answer
128 views

Ring Resonators

If optical field will propagate into the following ring resonator. Optical field will propagate into the ring and propagate to the coupling region. I didn't get where and how the interference will ...