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Homework Help: Double-Slit Experiment using water

  1. Mar 26, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Would it be possible to do a double-slit experiment for water waves? Can you observe wave interference in the turtle pond on campus?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I feel that since water waves are in fact waves, they can no doubt interfere with one another. However, I am not certain that the results for the double-slit experiment would be similar to those when using light. I have absolutely no idea why though. Any help is greatly appreciated. Cheers.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2012 #2


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    Homework Helper

    The big difficulty is scaling the experiment, and observing the rapidly attenuated waves on water.

    You can certainly observe the diffraction/interference from a single slit with water waves.
  4. Mar 27, 2012 #3
    Just throw in two stones at the same time. You get two point sources with radially spreading waves. Where the wave fronts meet you can see interference.

    If you want to be fancy, use some kind of electric motor to dip two rods into the water periodically. That way you will eventually get to a steady situation that is easier to observe. In particular it is easier to compare amplitudes at different positions.

    If you really want a double slit experiment, then put a barrier with two openings across your pond/bath/whatever. Excite waves on one side (does not matter how) and observe on the other side.
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