1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
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: Width of Slit HeLP on setup Please

  1. Mar 30, 2008 #1
    Width of Slit....HeLP on setup Please!!

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A helium-neon laser (λ=590 nm) illuminates a single slit and is observed on a screen 1.7 m behind the slit. The distance between the first and second minima in the diffraction pattern is 6.78 mm. What is the width (in mm) of the slit?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I think I am supposed to use the equation....

    W = 2tL/a
    t = wavelength
    t = 0.00000059 m
    L = 1.7 m
    a = .00678 m

    but that gets me 0.2956 mm
    If I divide that by 2 I get the right answer so I am a little confused on my setup
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    The distance 6.78 mm is the difference between the m=2 and m=1 minima. It is not the distance from the centre of the screen to the second minima (if that's what you are doing). Draw a diagram. You need to find one expression for the distance for m=1 minimum and one for the m=2 minimum. You know the difference between these two is 6.78 mm. This will allow you to solve for the slit width.
  4. Mar 30, 2008 #3
    The width of the slit is going from m=1 on 1 side of the central maxima to m=1 on the other side right? And fringe spacing between all fringes is equal correct?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook