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Homework Help: Finding Thickness of glass knowing OPD and refractive index.

  1. Sep 8, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A beam of light is split into two coherent beams of intensity I which are in phase. The two
    beams are sent through different paths and superimposed at the same spot on a screen. A path
    difference is to be achieved by inserting a glass window of refractive index of 1.7 in the path of
    one of the beams while keeping the physical (actual) path lengths the same. How thick must the
    window be for an optical path difference of 4.5 wavelengths using light from a sodium vapour
    lamp (λ = 589.3 nm)?

    2. Relevant equations

    OPD = t(n(s) - (n(m))

    3. The attempt at a solution

    n(s) = 1.7
    n(m) = 1.0 (assuming it's in air.)
    OPD = 4.5

    OPD/(n(s) - (n(m)) = t
    ...changing the equation around.

    4.5/(1.7-1.0) = t
    t = 6.4 microns

    is this right?
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2009 #2


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    What is the unit of t?
    What is the purpose of giving the wavelength of sodium vapor lamp?
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