# Homework Help: N-slit Interference/Diffraction

1. Mar 20, 2006

### Warr

Hi, having trouble determining whether my lab book has made an error, or I have.

Intensity as a function of $$\phi$$ for 2 slits is given as

$$A^2={A_2}^2\frac{sin^2(\frac{\phi}{2})}{{(\frac{\phi}{2})}^2}cos^2(\frac{\beta}{2})$$

but then it gives the amplitude for N slits to be

$$A^2={A_N}^2\frac{sin^2(\frac{\phi}{2})}{{(\frac{\phi}{2})}^2}\frac{sin^2(\frac{N\beta}{2})}{sin^2(\frac{\beta}{2})}$$

However, when I sub in N = 2 for the equation (2), and use the double angle formula to reduce the right fraction in equation (2) I get 4*equation(1) rather than just the equation(1) alone. Am I doing it wrong?

To be more succinct, isn't $$\frac{sin^2(\frac{N\beta}{2})}{sin^2(\frac{\beta}{2})} = 4cos^2(\frac{\beta}{2})$$?

Last edited: Mar 20, 2006
2. Mar 20, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

I don't have my optics references handy, but I don't think you're doing anything wrong.

I'd say that should be:
$$A^2={A_0}^2\frac{sin^2(\frac{\phi}{2})}{{(\frac{\phi}{2})}^2}\frac{sin^2(\frac{N\beta}{2})}{sin^2(\frac{\beta}{2})}$$

It makes sense that the peak intensity should be proportional to the number of slits squared.