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Homework Help: Measuring Hair Thickness (Young slits)

  1. Nov 27, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data


    We're doing an experiment of measuring the thickness of a hair using a laser.
    So we took a hair, and a laser, and shot it through the hair, to receive the following pattern on the wall.

    The image of what we received (after red filter applied) on the wall is attached.

    We're confused though, about what we're seeing.

    We would like, ideally, to measure the distance between two fringes, which will allow us to determine the distance of the slit (which is the thickness of the hair in our case).
    However, we see that the central lighted area is larger than the secondary lighted areas. We thought this might be explained by the Beat pattern (sinc^2 cos^2), so the main lighted area would be the central "shell" caused by the sinc, and within it we get so many fringes that we cannot see them, we just see constantly lighted area.

    Is this true? How can we measure the distance of the hair, given that image?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2013 #2


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    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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