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written by Michael Davidson
published by the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
This item is an introductory tutorial on the topic of diffraction of light waves, the bending of light waves around obstacles.  It explains the phenomenon in a variety of ways and provides real-life examples of diffraction patterns.  Related interactive simulations demonstrate basic properties of light being diffracted through a slit and through diffraction gratings, plus offer a look at more complex phenomena such as Airy disk patterns.

This item is part of a larger collection of materials for students of introductory optics on the topic of light and color.  SEE RELATED ITEMS on this page for a link to the full collection.

Please note that this resource requires Java.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Optics
- Diffraction
- Interference
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Interactive Simulation
= Tutorial
- Reference Material
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
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Educator
Formats:
text/html
application/java
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2003 National High Magnetic Field Laboratory-2003
Keywords:
Airy patterns, Simulations, aperture, diffraction, diffraction grating, double-slit, light, light waves, optics, periodic grating, single-slit, tutorials
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created May 26, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
March 6, 2010 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 28, 2007

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.


Topic: Nature and Behavior of Light
Unit Title: The Wave Nature of Light

Interactive Tutorial                                                                 Grades 11-12
Scientists began to question the classical theory of light as a particle when they studied the phenomenon of diffraction:  the bending of light around an obstacle into a "shadow region".  If light consisted only of a particle nature, it would not be capable of such movement.  This interactive tutorial helps students understand light scattering and diffraction through a single slit.

Link to Unit:
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Record Link
AIP Format
M. Davidson, (National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Tallahassee, 2003), WWW Document, (http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/lightandcolor/diffractionintro.html).
AJP/PRST-PER
M. Davidson, Molecular Expressions: Diffraction of Light, (National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Tallahassee, 2003), <http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/lightandcolor/diffractionintro.html>.
APA Format
Davidson, M. (2007, December 28). Molecular Expressions: Diffraction of Light. Retrieved September 23, 2014, from National High Magnetic Field Laboratory: http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/lightandcolor/diffractionintro.html
Chicago Format
Davidson, Michael. Molecular Expressions: Diffraction of Light. Tallahassee: National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, December 28, 2007. http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/lightandcolor/diffractionintro.html (accessed 23 September 2014).
MLA Format
Davidson, Michael. Molecular Expressions: Diffraction of Light. Tallahassee: National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 2003. 28 Dec. 2007. 23 Sep. 2014 <http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/lightandcolor/diffractionintro.html>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Michael Davidson", Title = {Molecular Expressions: Diffraction of Light}, Publisher = {National High Magnetic Field Laboratory}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {23 September 2014}, Month = {December 28, 2007}, Year = {2003} }
Refer Export Format

%A Michael Davidson
%T Molecular Expressions: Diffraction of Light
%D December 28, 2007
%I National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
%C Tallahassee
%U http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/lightandcolor/diffractionintro.html
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Davidson, Michael
%D December 28, 2007
%T Molecular Expressions: Diffraction of Light
%I National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
%V 2014
%N 23 September 2014
%8 December 28, 2007
%9 text/html
%U http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/lightandcolor/diffractionintro.html


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Molecular Expressions: Diffraction of Light:

Is Part Of http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/lightandcolor/index.html

A link to the full set of introductory materials on the physics of light and color by the same author.

relation by Caroline Hall

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