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Why is it not possible to see the interference pattern of white light

  1. Aug 22, 2013 #1
    'The colour seen when white light is used as a source for a Young’s double slit experiment are sometimes mistaken for the spectrum of visible light.'
    Why is this not possible with a two slit interference pattern?

    I know that the different wavelengths will all cause interference with each other, but is there a better explanation than this?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2013 #2

    ZapperZ

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    Because there are so many different wavelengths in white light that the interference pattern from each wavelength overlaps each other and washes out.

    Zz.
     
  4. Aug 22, 2013 #3
    Deleted following insulting reply.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
  5. Aug 22, 2013 #4

    ZapperZ

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    That's sad, considering how easy and cheap it is nowadays to obtain a laser pointer with a good-enough monochromatic light source.

    Zz.
     
  6. Aug 22, 2013 #5
    This is an insulting comment.. I have reported it and I have deleted my response.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
  7. Aug 22, 2013 #6

    ZapperZ

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    Not sure what is "insulting" about that. You obviously read WAY differently than what I wrote.

    The "sad" comment was directed at the situation, i.e. that one had to use a white light to demonstrate interference effects, rather than obtaining a simple, cheap, monochromatic light source. You appear to interpret it as being directed at your comment.

    Zz.
     
  8. Aug 22, 2013 #7
    It is possible to see the pattern for white light with 2 slits....we did it at school using car head lamp bulbs.
     
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