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Q. 6

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Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach with Modern Physics
Found in: Page 954

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Short Answer

FIGURE shows the light intensity on a viewing screen behind a circular aperture. What happens to the width of the central maximum if

a. The wavelength of the light is increased?

b. The diameter of the aperture is increased?

c. How will the screen appear if the aperture diameter is less than the light wavelength?

(a) The width of the wavelength is increased.

(b) The width of the aperture is decreased.

(c) The screen appears like almost uniformly gray.

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Step by Step Solution

Step 1: Introduction

When it comes to waves like acoustic waves (sound) or electromagnetic waves like light or radio waves, intensity refers to the average power transfer across one period of the wave. Intensity can be used in a variety of situations where energy is delivered. For example, the intensity of the kinetic energy carried by drops of water from a garden sprinkler may be calculated.

Step 2: Find the width (part a)

We know that , so:

As is increased, the width grows.

Step 2: Find the width (part b)

As the diameter grows larger, the width shrinks.

Step 4: Appearance of screen

For diffraction to occur, the field of view must be of the same order as the wavelength of light, resulting in a nearly evenly grey surface with no minima.

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