Chapter 24: Physical optics: The wave nature of light


Study guide - Waves & Optics

Video (Eureka) - Episode 30: Radiation waves


Topic 24.1: Young's double slit experiment



Objective(s):
Students should understand the interference and diffraction of waves, so they can:
Apply the principles of interference to coherent sources in order to:
  1. Describe the conditions under which the waves reaching an observation point from two or more sources will all interfere constructively, or under which the waves from two sources will interfere destructively.
  2. Determine locations of interference maxima or minima for two sources or determine the frequencies or wavelengths that can lead to constructive or destructive interference at a certain point.
  3. Relate the amplitude produced by two or more sources that interfere constructively to the amplitude and intensity produced by a single source.

Video (you tube) - Nova: Quantum Mechanics - Fabric of the cosmos (watch the first 19 min)

Video (veritasium) - The original double slit experiment

Video - Dr. Quantum: The Double slit experiment

Video (Feynman) - Richard Feynman on the Double Slit Paradox: Particle or Wave


Topic 24.2: Thin-film interference


Tutorial (Univ. of California) - Interference & diffraction

Objective(s):
Apply the principles of interference to light reflected by thin films, so they can:
  1. State under what conditions a phase reversal occurs when light is reflected from the interface between two media of different indices of refraction.
  2. Determine whether rays of monochromatic light reflected perpendicularly from two such interfaces will interfere constructively or destructively, and thereby account for Newton’s rings and similar phenomena, and explain how glass may be coated to minimize reflection of visible light.




Topic 24.3: Diffraction


Tutorial (Univ. of California) - Interference & diffraction

Objective(s):
Apply the principles of interference and diffraction to waves that pass through a single or double slit or through a diffraction grating, so they can:
  1. Sketch or identify the intensity pattern that results when monochromatic waves pass through a single slit and fall on a distant screen, and describe how this pattern will change if the slit width or the wavelength of the waves is changed.
  2. Calculate, for a single-slit pattern, the angles or the positions on a distant screen where the intensity is zero.
  3. Sketch or identify the intensity pattern that results when monochromatic waves pass through a double slit, and identify which features of the pattern result from single-slit diffraction and which from two-slit interference.
  4. Calculate, for a two-slit interference pattern, the angles or the positions on a distant screen at which intensity maxima or minima occur.
  5. Describe or identify the interference pattern formed by a diffraction grating, calculate the location of intensity maxima, and explain qualitatively why a multiple-slit grating is better than a two-slit grating for making accurate determinations of wavelength.



Topic 24.4: Polarization



Objective(s):




Topic 24.5: Atmospheric scattering of light



Objective(s):









Mini lab - title

AP lab - title

Virtual lab (PhET @ Colorado) - title

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Video (MIT) - title

Video (UC Berkley, Physics 10) - title

Video (The Mechanical Universe) - title