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Double-Slit with Natural Light?

  1. May 13, 2005 #1
    Double-Slit with Natural Light??????


    I would like to know if it is possible to perform the double-slit experiment with natural lighting conditions. I work with photograhy and would like to know if there is a way to capture the "interference patter" of a particular scene (i.e. ocean, landscape, building, etc.). I know its an odd request but there has to be a way to get the light that would enter a Pinhole Camera, for example, to do the same thing but form an interference pattern of the image being exposed. How could I do this? Please help if you can....

    Thanks you,

  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2005 #2
    I believe the original experiment was done with sunlight refracted through a lense then split by a thin card. I would think a properly designed camera lense would do it too. It does say that the pattern is more defined using one color of light so maybe a colored filter would help too.
  4. May 14, 2005 #3
    Yes, double-slit experiment can be done with natural light. After all, laser wasn't invented when Thomas Young did his experiment. The light coming out of the two slit actually interference with itself. What is needed is the radius of the hole is approximately equal to the wavelenth of light. I guess a normal pinhole camera can't satisfy this condition. But it would be interesting to see how a landscape look like in your way.
  5. May 14, 2005 #4
    Yeah, I noticed there's a card-splitting version [url[/URL] but with a laser.

    Some other info:

    [QUOTE]In 1801, Thomas Young devised and performed an experiment demonstrating the wave nature of light. The difficulty confronting Young was that the usual light sources of the day (candles, lanterns, etc.) could not serve as coherent light sources.

    Young's method involved using sunlight that entered the room through a pinhole in a window shutter. A mirror was used to direct the pinhole beam horizontally across the room. Young used a small paper card to break the single pinhole beam into two beams and observed an interference pattern on a screen.

    [PLAIN]http://courses.washington.edu/p123cs05/Lectures/Physics123C_L11.ppt [Broken][/QUOTE]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  6. May 15, 2005 #5
    About Card Splitting Double-Slit

    Thanks for all of your replies.

    Hey Caribou, the link that was on your post did not work for me. Could you please type out the exact link so I could find out more info on this?

    Also, if using a card to split the beam doesn't work for me couldn't I just have two holes/slits with there distance matching the wavelength of the light at a given part of the day? If I had a lens that focused the light and two slits behind the lens wouldn't this give me an interference pattern?

    Thank you all...
  7. May 16, 2005 #6
  8. May 16, 2005 #7


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    You'll want to have as monochromatic light as possible (or film that is sensitive to only one frequency/color), if you want as sharp an interference as possible. This is cause the interference depends on the wavelength of the light.

  9. May 16, 2005 #8
    Information and a nice little applet to show what happens when you adjust things about the two-slit experiment:


    It has the numbers for the distances involved. I guess you could use coloured filters to get the monochromatic light.

    I don't know if diffraction gratings might be any good for the effect. There's a lot of info on them.
    Last edited: May 16, 2005
  10. May 16, 2005 #9
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