In multiple slit diffraction each slit contributes in diffraction phenomenon or only a single slit contributes in diffraction and all n contribute in interference?


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Diffraction is the interference of light from extended continuous sources. So in a single slit, each point is modelled as a source and the interference of all such points are the diffraction effects we see.

In a multiple slit setup, the interference between different slits will be superimposed over the diffraction patterns of each slit. So every slit contributes to interference, and within each slit diffraction effects take place.

Keep in mind all the waves from the point sources of different slits are interfering. So taking a reductionist approach: diffraction is interference. However it is easier to model multiple slits as considering the diffraction of each individual slit and then superposing the interference between the different slits.

  • $\begingroup$ I couldn't understand that when each slit is involved in diffraction phenomenon then why do intensity due to diffraction remains same in one slit, two slits and n slits? $\endgroup$ – Harsh Nigam Oct 26 '18 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ The variation in intensity comes because of interference but why do diffraction in different number of slits does not causes any change in intensity? $\endgroup$ – Harsh Nigam Oct 26 '18 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ have a look at education.pasco.com/epub/PhysicsNGSS/BookInd-1187.html . yes, the intensity changes the further from the center of the beam hitting the diffraction grating ( that is what it is called) $\endgroup$ – anna v Oct 27 '18 at 16:07

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