Choose at least 2 terms from the list and answer the following questions for each term:
What familiarity and prior knowledge do you have about the term?
What does the term mean in everyday language to everyday people? Use examples to help describe your thoughts. How do people use the word?
What does the term mean in technical language to physicists?
How is the term related to the course student learning outcome: Model the atomic and nuclear behavior of matter?
What are the similarities and differences between the everyday and technical meanings and uses of the term?
How might the similarities and differences impact your learning of physics concepts in this course?
University of the People
As we have seen, the interference pattern produced by a double slit can be explained by considering the wave nature of light. Waves from each slit combine to produce the interference pattern on the screen. Therefore, double slit interference can be used to investigate the wave nature of light.
It is interesting to note that the interference pattern is only produced when light is allowed to pass through both slits simultaneously. If light is passed through one slit at a time, then no interference pattern is produced. This shows that it is the wave nature of light that is responsible for the interference pattern.
Double slit interference can also be used to investigate the wave-particle duality of light. As we have seen, light can behave as either a wave or a particle, depending on the experimental setup. In the double slit experiment, light behaves as a wave when it passes through both slits simultaneously.
The double-slit experiment that Young designed makes use of two coherent light sources that are separated by only a short distance. In most cases, wavelengths that are only a few orders of magnitude larger than those of light are used.
The double-slit experiment that Young performed was instrumental in the development of our understanding of the wave theory of light, which is best illustrated by the following diagram. As can be seen in the illustration, a screen or photodetector is positioned a considerable distance, denoted by the letter “D,” away from the slits.