Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

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

Chapter 29 - Think and Explain: 39


Fringes become closer together.

Work Step by Step

This is shown in Figure 29.14. The equation at the bottom of page 550 explains this. $$\lambda = d sin \theta$$ Assume the wavelength, the left-hand side of the equation, is fixed. Therefore, the product of the 2 terms on the right-hand side must be constant too. Suppose the distance between the slits, d, is increased. In that case, we see a more tightly-packed pattern, i.e., $\theta$ decreases, because sin $\theta$ must decrease.
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