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Diffraction effects and wavelengths

  1. Dec 9, 2007 #1


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    Do higher wavelength radiation have more pronounced diffraction effects than low wavelength radiation, and why is that?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2007 #2
    yes. this is why sounds can be diffracted, but not light. sound has a larger wavelength than light.
  4. Dec 9, 2007 #3
    sorry did you just say light cannot be diffracted?!

    edit: btw when you say more pronounced diffraction effects do you mean that it spreads out more (i.e. theta will be bigger)? The diffraction is related to the size of the hole through which the light is going through compared to the wavelength of the light...in what exact context are you talking about?
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2007
  5. Dec 9, 2007 #4
    aww....did i make a mistake when i said light cannot be diffracted. actually i did this topic this morning, and i thought i heard my teacher say that light travels straight, it cannot be diffracted.

    diffraction occurs when the size of aperture is much much less smaller than the wavelength. light has a very small wavelength, and it is difficult to get apertures even tinier.

    i hope i didn't make a botch.

  6. Dec 9, 2007 #5


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    Just in general; is there any diffraction effects for light coming from a normal light bulb?

    What about Young's double-slit experiment?
  7. Dec 9, 2007 #6
    There can definatly be diffraction of light as seen in Young's double slit and diffraction gratings etc.

    As for light coming from a normal light bulb, what would cause it to diffracted at all?
  8. Dec 9, 2007 #7

    Claude Bile

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    Diffraction effects are ultimately determined by the size of the wavelength with respect to an object or slit. A 1 micron wide slit illuminated by 500 nm light will behave equivalently to a 1 metre wide slit illuminated by 0.5 m radiation. The larger the wavelength, the smaller everything becomes with respect to the wavelength, which causes diffraction effects to be more pronounced.

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