Chapter 15: Interference and Diffraction

Interference

With this two-dimensional waves applet, you can manipulate various aspects of the simulation to see different wave properties, such as interference and diffraction.

http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/8/8.02T/f04/visualizations/light/08-waves2d/08-waves320.html

This website describes light wave interference in greater detail and includes a short video of a simple interference demonstration you can do at home.

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/kitchenscience/exp/bubble-colours-interference-colours/

A further discussion of wave interference with links to photos and a simulation.

http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/waves/u10l3c.cfm

Diffraction

A very enthusiastic science teacher talks about diffraction and how its observable properties differ depending on the order of the wavelength.

http://www.brightstorm.com/science/physics/vibration-and-waves/diffraction/

A video and set of instructions that allow students to see laser diffraction at work.

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/kitchenscience/exp/laser-diffraction/

Another, slightly different demonstration of diffraction which can also be done at home.

http://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/diffraction/index.html

http://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/diffraction/index.html

Build your own spectroscope and view the light spectrum.

http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/classroom/spectroscope.shtml

http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/classroom/spectroscope.shtml

Lasers

A brief description of how lasers work as well as the story of the very first laser, invented in 1960.

https://lasers.llnl.gov/education/how_lasers_work

https://lasers.llnl.gov/education/how_lasers_work

Play Laser Challenge and learn about lasers as you complete your mission: plan a party for Professor Photon, inventor of the super laser! Bomus points for correctly answering questions about lasers.

http://www.nobelprize.org/educational/physics/laser/index.html

In 2010, the LaserFest website ran a video contest. From a rap about lasers to interference patterns set to Sinatra, here are the winners. Includes a bonus ”people’s choice award” winning video.

http://www.laserfest.org/events/involved/contest.cfm

In 1998 NASA scientists used laser spectroscopy, among other techniques and tools, to help preserve the Charters of Freedom.

http://player.discoveryeducation.com//views/flashView.cfm?guidAssetId=ba1035b1-3eb0-4bfc-953b-5cb6a897143a

Five good reasons why a laser won’t work as a light saber in your next Star Wars reenactment.

http://www.physics.org/article-questions.asp?id=59