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Homework Help: Fraunhofer Diffraction Proving

  1. Sep 15, 2004 #1
    I am to prove that in

    y = R * m * (wavelength) / a

    where y is the distance between two minima, a is the width of the slit, R is the length between the screen and the slit grating, and m is an integer which is the order of the minima.

    I know I have to use the paraxial approximation where tan x is approximately sin x which is approx. x, but I can't seem to apply it. When I refer to my textbooks, they state that y is the difference between the central maximum and the first minimum when m=1. Is this applicable bet. two minima as well?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2004 #2

    Claude Bile

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    Science Advisor

    Start with the condition for constructive interferance;

    dsin(theta) = m(lambda)

    Then apply the small angle approximation. It is quite simple.

    Your textbook is referring to y as the difference between the first maximum and the centre of the pattern, which is equivalent (within the small angle approximation) to the distance between successive minima.

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