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Double slit and quater wave plates

  1. Mar 26, 2009 #1
    Just a bit confused/ need confirmation of what's happening.

    We shine light at the double slit and see interference patterns. Place two opposite 1/4 waves plate, so that we have which way information, in front of the slits. This causes the pattern to disappear.

    1. Under what condition does interference happen? Same polarization and wavelength?
    2. Somehow the 1/4 waves plates stop inferences.

    Is the pattern observe just the sum of the single diffraction patterns? Because their polarization changed, therefore can't interfere with each other. I can't recall if there was any patterns on the sides of the central maxima.
    The pattern is just showing the intensity but not the interferences? That's interesting. Due to the way we detect the light. But if they don't interfere, what causing the no light action on the sides?
    I think the circular polarization is killing me.

    Have I just answered some of my own question?

    Thanks
    PenKnight
     
  2. jcsd
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