Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sign in Create Account

Ripple Tank: Single and Double Slit Diffraction and Interference

A ripple tank is placed above a mirror and a projection screen. A horizontal bar, whose frequency can be varied, taps the surface of the water and produces plane waves. The waves are incident on a barrier containing an adjustable opening.

With a narrow single slit opening we see a plane wave emerge as a spherical wave on the other side of the barrier. This can be explained by the Huygens-Fresnel principle which states that each point in the slit forms its own spherical wavefront source. With a wider slit, more point sources arise, causing interference patterns due to the larger angles involved with a broader spatial distribution of these sources.

Comments (2)

how does it do that

Posted 3 years by Anonymous 00:00:24

This thing is cool, I wanna make one.

Posted almost 3 years by Anonymous 00:01:47

You need to log in, in order to post comments. If you don’t have an account yet, sign up now!

MIT Department of Physics Technical Services Group

MIT Department of Physics Technical Services Group

Category: Science | Updated over 2 years ago

July 22, 2009 11:09
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (What is this?)
Additional Files

59668 times

More from MIT Department of Physics Technical Services Group

Refraction & Total Internal Reflection

Refraction & Total Internal Reflection

Added 3 years ago | 00:01:53 | 6302 views

Barkhausen Effect

Barkhausen Effect

Added over 3 years ago | 00:01:02 | 5114 views

Magnetizing and Demagnetizing an Iron Rod

Magnetizing and Demagnetizing an Ir...

Added 3 years ago | 00:01:37 | 4965 views

Pulling a Cloth From Under a Beaker

Pulling a Cloth From Under a Beaker

Added over 4 years ago | 00:00:50 | 17291 views

Michelson Interferometer

Michelson Interferometer

Added almost 5 years ago | 00:04:06 | 21229 views

MIT Physics Demo -- Magnetic Deflection of a TV Image

MIT Physics Demo -- Magnetic Deflec...

Added 7 years ago | 00:01:35 | 56265 views