Roles

Student author: Natalie Ferris
Student author: Ruthie Strauss
Student author: Hongyi Li

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-2018

Department

Physics

Language

English

Publication Title

American Journal of Physics

Abstract

We discuss Young’s double-slit experiment using a partially coherent light source consisting of a helium-neon laser incident on a rotating piece of white paper. Such an experiment is appropriate for undergraduate students as an independent project or as part of an advanced lab course. As is well known, the resulting interference pattern is observed to disappear and return, depending on the angular size of the source. Interestingly, while the standard theoretical prediction for the light intensity agrees quite well with experimental data when the fringe visibility is high, the prediction is noticeably off when the visibility is low. A first-principles calculation of the light intensity is performed and shown to agree extremely well with the experimental results for all visibilities.

Comments

This published version is made available on Dickinson Scholar with the permission of the publisher. For more information on the published version, visit American Association of Physics Teacher's Website.

© 2018 American Association of Physics Teachers

DOI

10.1119/1.5047438

Available for download on Sunday, September 01, 2019

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