What is diffraction of Light?

August 4, 2020

Place the light on a stable surface at least one arm’s length away from you.

Hold up the two pencils, side by side, with the erasers at the top. The tape wrapped around one pencil should keep the pencils slightly apart, forming a thin slit between them, just below the tape. Hold both pencils close to one eye (about 1 inch [2.5 cm] away) and look at the light source through the slit between the pencils. Squeeze the pencils together, making the slit smaller.

Notice that there is a line of light perpendicular to the slit. While looking through the slit, rotate the pencils until they are horizontal, and notice that the line of light becomes vertical.

If you look closely you may see that the line is composed of tiny blobs of light. As you squeeze the slit together, the blobs of light grow larger and spread apart, moving away from the central light source and becoming easier to see. Notice that the blobs have blue and red edges and that the blue edges are closer to the light source.

Stretch a hair tight and hold it about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from your eye. Move the hair until it is between your eye and the light source, and notice that the light is spread into a line of blobs by the hair, just as it was by the slit. Rotate the hair and watch the line of blobs rotate.

Source: www.exploratorium.edu
RELATED VIDEO
Light diffraction
Show 10: Diffraction Of Light - Whole Show (English)
Diffraction