Diffraction Problem: Solve for O

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In summary, the conversation discusses a physics question involving diffraction effects and the perception of color through the eye's pupil. Part a asks about the impact of diffraction effects on different wavelengths, and part b suggests using formulas in a textbook to solve the problem. There is also a discrepancy in the solution for part b. The conversation ends with a question about the correctness of the answer for part a.
  • #1

Homework Statement

http://img73.imageshack.us/img73/2750/physicsnm5.jpg [Broken]

Homework Equations


The Attempt at a Solution

I don't really know where to start...
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  • #2
I'm pretty sure this question doesn't make any sense.
  • #3
Hi jcpwn2004,

For part a, they are saying that diffraction effects occurring as the light passes through the pupil can cause the eye to not be able to perceive the individual dots. Would these diffraction effects be greater for larger or smaller wavelengths? Once you know that you can determine the color.

For part b there are some formulas that I think should be derived in your textbook, and those sections would probably be good to read to understand how to use the formulas. Try to find a section titled something like "limiting angle of resolution" or "resolution of apertures", and you will probably find formulas for rectangular and circular apertures. What do you get?
  • #4
the diffraction effects would be less for larger wavelengths, therefore larger wavelengths would blend the fastest? So red would be the first color to blend?

for the 2nd part i have sin0=1.22(wavelength)/D and used 480nm for violet light and got .06 which isn't right :(.
  • #5
It's difficult to tell what you did since you did not show the numbers you plugged in. What numbers did you use, and how did you get the answer of 0.06?
  • #6
alphysicist said:
It's difficult to tell what you did since you did not show the numbers you plugged in. What numbers did you use, and how did you get the answer of 0.06?

I did a=L(wavelength)/Y so .005=L(400nm)/.002 and got L=25m which is off, the final answer should be 20.5

Is my answer for part a correct though?
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1. What is diffraction and why is it a problem to solve for O?

Diffraction is the bending and spreading of waves as they pass through an opening or around an obstacle. It is a problem to solve for O because O represents the angle of diffraction, which is important in understanding the behavior of waves.

2. How is diffraction related to the electromagnetic spectrum?

Diffraction is a phenomenon that occurs with all types of waves, including electromagnetic waves. The amount of diffraction depends on the wavelength of the wave, meaning that shorter wavelengths (such as gamma rays) experience less diffraction than longer wavelengths (such as radio waves).

3. What factors affect the angle of diffraction (O)?

The angle of diffraction is affected by several factors, including the size of the opening or obstacle, the wavelength of the wave, and the distance between the source of the wave and the opening/obstacle.

4. Can diffraction be used for practical purposes?

Yes, diffraction is used in many practical applications, such as in the design of antennas and in medical imaging techniques like X-ray diffraction. It is also used in the study of crystal structures and in astronomy to analyze the light from distant stars.

5. How is the diffraction problem solved for O?

The diffraction problem can be solved using mathematical equations that take into account the factors mentioned in question 3. These equations, such as the Huygens-Fresnel principle or the Fraunhofer diffraction formula, can be used to calculate the angle of diffraction (O) for a given set of parameters.

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