Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 29 - Think and Explain - Page 560-561: 35


Blue light.

Work Step by Step

The fringes will be spaced closer together when the shorter-wavelength blue light is used. The equation at the bottom of page 550 explains this. $$\lambda = d sin \theta$$ Suppose we use a shorter wavelength, $\lambda$. The left-hand side of the equation is smaller, so the right-hand side must be smaller too. The distance between the slits, d, is fixed. The shorter wavelength gives a more tightly-packed pattern, i.e., $\theta$ decreases, because sin $\theta$ decreases.
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