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Homework Help: Central Maximum/Diffraction Question

  1. Sep 30, 2009 #1
    a) A light with a wavelength of 500 nm illuminates two narrow slits that are 0.10 mm apart. If the viewing screen is 1.20 m from the slits, calculate the distance between each maxima.

    b) How far would the fourth maximum be from the central maximum?

    Relevant equations:
    y1 = L x wavelength / w

    The attempt at a solution:

    a) y1 = L x wavelength / w
    = (1.2m)(500 x 10^-9 m) / (1.0 x 10^-4 m)
    = 0.006 m

    0.006 m x 2 = 0.012 m

    so the distance between each maximum is 1.2 x 10^-2 m

    b) 4 x (1.2 x 10^-2 m)
    = 0.048
    = 4.8 x 10^-2 m

    I'm not sure if this is correct, can someone please confirm or add any suggestions? thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    It isn't perfectly clear what "distance between each maxima" is.
    I would say it is the .006 m you found for the distance from the bright central maximum to the first order maximum. And I would multiply .006 by 4 to get part (b).
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