Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Single Slit diagram

  1. Feb 20, 2010 #1
    Hello , as per diagram (attached) regarding Huygens slit experiment / diagram

    When the wave enters the slit - why does it form a number of point sources ?

    There are 6 as per the diagram, Are these the horizontal wavelengths of the electromagnetic waves ?

    Thanks, much appreciated

    Attached Files:

    • Slit.JPG
      File size:
      27.8 KB
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2010 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    The "why" part is pretty easy to understand intuitively if you think about waves on a pond. These waves are created when something disturbs the water's surface--that is, something moves the water up or down. A wave moves water up and down, so the wave itself creates waves that spread out in all directions. In other words, every point inside the wavefront is creating new waves.

    6 was as arbitrarily chosen number. In reality, every point in the slit sends out a wave.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook