Light

| January 25, 2015

Figure 35-22a shows a transparent plastic block with a thin wedge of air at the right. (The wedge thickness is exaggerated in the figure.) A broad beam of red light, with wavelength λ = 632.8 nm, is directed downward through the top of the block (at an incidence angle of 0°). Some of the light that passes into the plastic is reflected back up from the top and bottom surfaces of the wedge, which acts as a thin film (of air) with a thickness that varies uniformly and gradually from LL at the left hand end to LR at the right-hand end. (The plastic layers above and below the wedge of air are too thick to act as thin films.) An observer looking down on the block sees an interference pattern consisting of six dark fringes and five bright red fringes along the wedge. What is the change in thickness ?L (= LRLL) along the wedge?

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Fig.35-22 (a) Red light is incident on a thin, air-filled wedge in the side of a transparent plastic block. The thickness of the wedge is LL at the left end and LR at the right end.

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