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The Double Slit Experiment
(what the heck is it and why does it matter?)
Before we talk about the double slit
experiment we first have to talk about
interference
Basically,when waves overlap they either interfere constructively
or they interfere destructively
Waves behave a bit differntly when they pass through a double slit
As waves pass an obstacle,like a slit,it spreads out (difracts) and
propogates in multiple directions
When we have two slits the resultant waves cross one another
and unergo constructive interference
The constructive interferences form maxima.When light is shined
through a double slit these maxima correspond to bright spots.
ThomasYoung did exactly this in his famous double slit experiment,
light was shined through two slits and a pattern of bright spots was
observed.This cemented our understanding of light as a wave and
not a particle.
Ok,now let’s talk about particles
Which I will model using cannons
I’ve set up a row of cannons firing at a wall with two
holes (slits) in it
When the cannon balls (particles) hit the wall they are stopped,
but the ones that make it through the holes continue forward and
hit the target directly ahead.
This is what we expect to see when we fire particles
through a double slit,two maxima corresponding to straigt lines
of motion with the slits,i.e. the cannonballs continue straight
through without changing trajectory
Constructive Interference
Two waves reinforce one another,
the crests combine givng a
resultinat amplitude which is
the sum of individual amplitudes
Two waves diminish one another,
the positive amplitdue of one wave
cancels the negative of another
giving a smaller resultant amplitdue
Destructive Interference
A1 A1A
AA2 A2
Pfft,boring
wait,what?! Exhibit a.Cannon
(Do not stand directly in front of)
Figure a.The firing line
(duck and cover)
Exhibit b.Live targe-,I mean
lifeless dummies
tariq vira 19746149

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LO 2, Interference and The Double Slit Experiment

  • 1. The Double Slit Experiment (what the heck is it and why does it matter?) Before we talk about the double slit experiment we first have to talk about interference Basically,when waves overlap they either interfere constructively or they interfere destructively Waves behave a bit differntly when they pass through a double slit As waves pass an obstacle,like a slit,it spreads out (difracts) and propogates in multiple directions When we have two slits the resultant waves cross one another and unergo constructive interference The constructive interferences form maxima.When light is shined through a double slit these maxima correspond to bright spots. ThomasYoung did exactly this in his famous double slit experiment, light was shined through two slits and a pattern of bright spots was observed.This cemented our understanding of light as a wave and not a particle. Ok,now let’s talk about particles Which I will model using cannons I’ve set up a row of cannons firing at a wall with two holes (slits) in it When the cannon balls (particles) hit the wall they are stopped, but the ones that make it through the holes continue forward and hit the target directly ahead. This is what we expect to see when we fire particles through a double slit,two maxima corresponding to straigt lines of motion with the slits,i.e. the cannonballs continue straight through without changing trajectory Constructive Interference Two waves reinforce one another, the crests combine givng a resultinat amplitude which is the sum of individual amplitudes Two waves diminish one another, the positive amplitdue of one wave cancels the negative of another giving a smaller resultant amplitdue Destructive Interference A1 A1A AA2 A2 Pfft,boring wait,what?! Exhibit a.Cannon (Do not stand directly in front of) Figure a.The firing line (duck and cover) Exhibit b.Live targe-,I mean lifeless dummies tariq vira 19746149