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Suggestions for diffraction experiments?

  1. Nov 13, 2012 #1
    My group project over the next year will be on diffraction, so as part of our project plan my group needs to decide what experiments we'd like to do. I know the bare essentials of what diffraction is, but not in much depth (I'm trying to rectify this!) and was hoping for some suggestions for what different kinds of experiments to think about. I know of the double slit experiment, of course, but I don't have much of a sense of what other kinds of investigations have gone on in the field over the last 100 years or so.

    We have access to first year university labs, so we obviously won't be dealing with particle accelerators or other high end equipment, but we'll be able to do more advanced things than the typical high school.

    I wasn't too sure where to post this thread, so I understand if it gets moved.

    Help appreciated :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2012 #2


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    Finding the pitch of the spiral on a CD is one easy exercise but using visible wavelengths is not always the best way to demonstrate diffraction quantitatively.
    Diffraction experiments can be done easily with audio signals from a signal generator, an array of loudspeakers (two or more) and a microphone. Many colleges have basic microwave equipment and that can easily be used to show the diffraction patterns of 'apertures' of different widths.
    The world is your oyster, actually. You will learn a lot very fast.
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