Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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Changing double slits

In the figure below are shown graphs of the intensity pattern of light as a function of position on a screen produced by 4 sets of double slits labeled P, Q, R, and S.  To produce the graphs, the laser beam and screen are held fixed and the slits simply changed for each other. The graphs are plotted on the same scales for distance (abscissa) and intensity (ordinate).

Rank the relative widths, dP, dQ, dR, dS, and the separations of the slits, aP, aQ, aR, aS. Carefully explain your reasoning.

Based on L. C. McDermott et al., Tutorials in Introductory Physics (Prentice Hall, 1999).

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Page last modified April 29, 2006: OP29