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Diffraction Pattern Cause

  1. Dec 12, 2005 #1
    Is the diffraction pattern of two recti-linear slits or an annular aperture due to the photons that diffract off the atoms located in the topmost atomic layers of the slit itself?

    If my explanation of the cause of diffraction patterns is true, then what are the ramifications?
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2005 #2
    As far as I know, the diffraction pattern from two rectangular slits is largely due to

    (1) simple interference between photons comming from each of the slits (Fresnel Diffraction), and

    (2) not so simple interfere between photons comming through every point in the opening of a single slit (Fraunhofer Diffraction).

    I don't think the atoms, themselves, have much effect on the observed diffraction pattern.
  4. Dec 13, 2005 #3
    If you're talking about Young's Double Slit experiment the usual explination is photon wave interference. The alternating light and dark areas are from constructive and destructive wave interference of the propogating photon waves from each slit. I'll try to draw and post a picture later if you would like to see.

    What is more interesting is what happens if you have a photon gun and fire a ingle photon ever millisecond or so through only one slit. Even if you know the photon gun is shooting through only the left or right slit, you will still end up with an interference pattern even though there is nothing for the photon to interfere with. An explination that I have heard for this is that in an alternate but parallel universe, the other you is shooting photons through the opposite slit you are, and through quantum foam the photon's are interacting and interfering with each other on the quantum level...i think that's just cool to think about.
  5. Dec 13, 2005 #4
    Classical physics treats light as a wave, but QED etc consider it a particle. If we ignore the fact that light can, in many cases, be treated as a wave, and focus on the particle nature, what is it about the particle nature that produces the diffraction pattern?
  6. Dec 13, 2005 #5
    Interesting to think about.

    Modern Physics considers light as either a particle or wave, whatever fits the situation. Maybe this is one of the times where there is only an explination in the wave form?
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