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  • 1. Thin-Film Interference
    • Requires the thickness of a very thin surface to vary from the top to the bottom.
    • When the light reflects off the front surface is a multiple of ¼ of the wavelength of the light reflecting of the back surface, the waves interfere to reinforce a specific color.
    • The colors change as the thickness of the film changes, and the ¼  is met at different locations for different colors.
  • 2. Two-Slit Interference
    • When light passes through two parallel slits, the light is diffracted, and spreads out. The spreading light resulting from each slit overlaps. A pattern of alternating bright and dark bands forms on an observing screen, resulting from constructive and destructive interference of light waves from the two slits.
  • 3. Effects of Changing Wavelength and Source Distance
  • 4. Effect of Wavelength on Interference Effects
    • The nodal and anti-nodal lines spread farther apart as the wavelength gets larger
  • 5. Effect of Distance On Interference Effects
    • The nodal and anti-nodal lines spread farther apart as the sources come closer together.
  • 6. Two-Slit Interference Pattern
  • 7. Diffraction
    • The bending of light around an obstacle or through a small opening.
    • Because wavelengths of light are so small, you usually don’t see light diffraction. The interference patterns are very small.
    • Diffraction grating – a piece of glass or plastic with thousands of parallel slits placed very close together.
  • 8. Example of Diffraction