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Homework Help: Single slit diffraction - distance between 1st&2nd order dark fringes

  1. Sep 16, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Monochromatic light with wavelength 580nm passes through a single slit 2.60um wide and 2.10m from a screen.

    Find the distance between the first- and second-order dark fringes on the screen.

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution



    I am not sure how to handle the dark fringes in single slit diffraction, so I am not sure where I am going wrong.

    Thanks for people's help in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2010 #2


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    Do you know what the letters mean in the formula y=(n*lambda*L)/d and when is it a good approximation?

  4. Sep 17, 2010 #3
    y is the distance between the fringes hitting the screen, n is the order, lambda is the wavelength, L is the distance to the screen, d is the width of the slit?

    i don't know when it is a good approximation or what you mean by that.
  5. Sep 17, 2010 #4


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    Yo know a formula which contain the angle of deviation from the original direction of the light ray, hitting the slit. It is the exact one.

  6. Sep 17, 2010 #5
    n*lamda = d*sin(theta) ?

    so would i use the angle found theta, and the known length L in a triangle to find the difference in y?
  7. Sep 17, 2010 #6


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    Yes. Calculate theta for n=1 and for n=2. The relation between L and y is y/L=tan(theta). If theta was very small, not more than a few degrees, you could approximate sin(theta) with tan(theta) and the equation in your first post would be valid. It is not the case now.

  8. Sep 17, 2010 #7
    thanks ehild, helpful as always
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