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Young's Double slit exp

  1. Feb 24, 2009 #1
    Just a quick q,

    My book says that to make the light source young used to be coherent, he passed it thru a SINGLE slit THEN passed it thru a double slit. Why would he do that??? couldn't he just put the light source directly to the double slit? I thought all light from a single source was coherent?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2009 #2


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    The degree of coherence is very low for most light sources. The single slit would improve the level of coherence.

    Only laser light is highly coherent.
  4. Apr 18, 2009 #3
    why would a single slit improve coherence?

    why is a single light source incoherent? doesn't light from a single source have a frequency and intensity that is identical?
  5. Apr 18, 2009 #4


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    Any light source can be treated as the collection of large number of point sources. According to the Hygiene's wave theory, each point source forms a wavefront which propagates in the forward direction. So at any point from the source several wave front can reach there producing in coherent light. Due to diffraction, a narrow single slit can behave like a point source.
  6. Apr 18, 2009 #5
    Incoherence is related to the type of light source. The design of a laser generally permits the produced light to be in phase (coherent) and of the same wavelength (monochromatic). Compare that with an incandescent light bulb. The light bulb has a filament that gets hot, which results in the production of light. However, the light emitted ranges over a variety wavelengths--about 10% of the emitted light is in the visible spectrum and the rest is in the infrared spectrum--so it is polychromatic. Light from a light bulb is incoherent because the light production is heat driven and the temperature variations cause the electrons to jump from orbital to orbital in a random manner.
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