Light plays a key role in Physics. The study of the interaction between light and matter has caused many breakthroughs in in Physics. At a fundamental level, waves spread out after they pass through a gap. This process is called diffraction. When laser light passes through a narrow rectangular slit, and the pattern observed on a screen, most of the energy is found arriving on the screen in a bright area called the central maximum. This is flanked on each side by a dark area and then the pattern becomes brighter on each side at a location called the first order maximum. The first order maximum has an intensity of 4.7% that of the central maximum. Higher order maxima also form, the next two of which have intensity ratios of 1.7% and 0.83% respectively. Why doesn't all of the energy "land" in the central maximum? Why do we get higher order maxima?
Physics and Mathematics
What are the concepts in Physics and Mathematics that students find difficult? In this blog I will post tutorial points that I hope will stimulate thinking and so broaden the knowledge and understanding of students allowing them to write thorough examination responses. Tutorial sheets, structured from a student's point of view, will be posted on the HSC, IB and university level topics of Relativity, Electromagnetism, Mechanics, Quantum Physics and Calculus. The overall purpose of these pages is to encourage and promote learning in Physics and Mathematics and so open new horizons in learning.