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Step 8. Check to see if the answer is reasonable: Does it make sense? Angles in interference patterns cannot be greater than 90º size 12{"90"°} {} , for example.

Section summary

  • Thin film interference occurs between the light reflected from the top and bottom surfaces of a film. In addition to the path length difference, there can be a phase change.
  • When light reflects from a medium having an index of refraction greater than that of the medium in which it is traveling, a 180º size 12{"180"°} {} phase change (or a λ / 2 size 12{λ/2} {} shift) occurs.

Conceptual questions

What effect does increasing the wedge angle have on the spacing of interference fringes? If the wedge angle is too large, fringes are not observed. Why?

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How is the difference in paths taken by two originally in-phase light waves related to whether they interfere constructively or destructively? How can this be affected by reflection? By refraction?

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Is there a phase change in the light reflected from either surface of a contact lens floating on a person’s tear layer? The index of refraction of the lens is about 1.5, and its top surface is dry.

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In placing a sample on a microscope slide, a glass cover is placed over a water drop on the glass slide. Light incident from above can reflect from the top and bottom of the glass cover and from the glass slide below the water drop. At which surfaces will there be a phase change in the reflected light?

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Answer the above question if the fluid between the two pieces of crown glass is carbon disulfide.

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While contemplating the food value of a slice of ham, you notice a rainbow of color reflected from its moist surface. Explain its origin.

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An inventor notices that a soap bubble is dark at its thinnest and realizes that destructive interference is taking place for all wavelengths. How could she use this knowledge to make a non-reflective coating for lenses that is effective at all wavelengths? That is, what limits would there be on the index of refraction and thickness of the coating? How might this be impractical?

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A non-reflective coating like the one described in [link] works ideally for a single wavelength and for perpendicular incidence. What happens for other wavelengths and other incident directions? Be specific.

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Why is it much more difficult to see interference fringes for light reflected from a thick piece of glass than from a thin film? Would it be easier if monochromatic light were used?

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Problems&Exercises

A soap bubble is 100 nm thick and illuminated by white light incident perpendicular to its surface. What wavelength and color of visible light is most constructively reflected, assuming the same index of refraction as water?

532 nm (green)

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An oil slick on water is 120 nm thick and illuminated by white light incident perpendicular to its surface. What color does the oil appear (what is the most constructively reflected wavelength), given its index of refraction is 1.40?

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Calculate the minimum thickness of an oil slick on water that appears blue when illuminated by white light perpendicular to its surface. Take the blue wavelength to be 470 nm and the index of refraction of oil to be 1.40.

83.9 nm

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Find the minimum thickness of a soap bubble that appears red when illuminated by white light perpendicular to its surface. Take the wavelength to be 680 nm, and assume the same index of refraction as water.

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A film of soapy water ( n = 1 . 33 size 12{n=1 "." "33"} {} ) on top of a plastic cutting board has a thickness of 233 nm. What color is most strongly reflected if it is illuminated perpendicular to its surface?

620 nm (orange)

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What are the three smallest non-zero thicknesses of soapy water ( n = 1 . 33 size 12{n=1 "." "33"} {} ) on Plexiglas if it appears green (constructively reflecting 520-nm light) when illuminated perpendicularly by white light? Explicitly show how you follow the steps in Problem Solving Strategies for Wave Optics .

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Suppose you have a lens system that is to be used primarily for 700-nm red light. What is the second thinnest coating of fluorite (magnesium fluoride) that would be non-reflective for this wavelength?

380 nm

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(a) As a soap bubble thins it becomes dark, because the path length difference becomes small compared with the wavelength of light and there is a phase shift at the top surface. If it becomes dark when the path length difference is less than one-fourth the wavelength, what is the thickest the bubble can be and appear dark at all visible wavelengths? Assume the same index of refraction as water. (b) Discuss the fragility of the film considering the thickness found.

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A film of oil on water will appear dark when it is very thin, because the path length difference becomes small compared with the wavelength of light and there is a phase shift at the top surface. If it becomes dark when the path length difference is less than one-fourth the wavelength, what is the thickest the oil can be and appear dark at all visible wavelengths? Oil has an index of refraction of 1.40.

33.9 nm

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[link] shows two glass slides illuminated by pure-wavelength light incident perpendicularly. The top slide touches the bottom slide at one end and rests on a 0.100-mm-diameter hair at the other end, forming a wedge of air. (a) How far apart are the dark bands, if the slides are 7.50 cm long and 589-nm light is used? (b) Is there any difference if the slides are made from crown or flint glass? Explain.

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[link] shows two 7.50-cm-long glass slides illuminated by pure 589-nm wavelength light incident perpendicularly. The top slide touches the bottom slide at one end and rests on some debris at the other end, forming a wedge of air. How thick is the debris, if the dark bands are 1.00 mm apart?

4 . 42 × 10 5 m size 12{4 "." "42" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - 5} } `m} {}

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Repeat [link] , but take the light to be incident at a 45º size 12{"45"°} {} angle.

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Repeat [link] , but take the light to be incident at a 45º size 12{"45"°} {} angle.

The oil film will appear black, since the reflected light is not in the visible part of the spectrum.

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Unreasonable Results

To save money on making military aircraft invisible to radar, an inventor decides to coat them with a non-reflective material having an index of refraction of 1.20, which is between that of air and the surface of the plane. This, he reasons, should be much cheaper than designing Stealth bombers. (a) What thickness should the coating be to inhibit the reflection of 4.00-cm wavelength radar? (b) What is unreasonable about this result? (c) Which assumptions are unreasonable or inconsistent?

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Questions & Answers

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Chovwe
write an expression for a plane progressive wave moving from left to right along x axis and having amplitude 0.02m, frequency of 650Hz and speed if 680ms-¹
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Friday Reply
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Vector quality have both direction and magnitude, such as Force, displacement, acceleration and etc.
Besmellah
Is the force attractive or repulsive between the hot and neutral lines hung from power poles? Why?
Jack Reply
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electromagnetic induction is a process in which conductor is put in a particular position and magnetic field keeps varying.
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Salaudeen
what is mutual induction?
je
mutual induction can be define as the current flowing in one coil that induces a voltage in an adjacent coil.
Johnson
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show that a particle moving under the influence of an attractive force mu/y³ towards the axis x. show that if it be projected from the point (0,k) with the component velocities U and V parallel to the axis of x and y, it will not strike the axis of x unless u>v²k² and distance uk²/√u-vk as origin
Gabriel Reply
show that a particle moving under the influence of an attractive force mu/y^3 towards the axis x. show that if it be projected from the point (0,k) with the component velocities U and V parallel to the axis of x and y, it will not strike the axis of x unless u>v^2k^2 and distance uk^2/√u-k as origin
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I can't even understand the question
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Gabriel
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Gabriel
An engineer builds two simple pendula. Both are suspended from small wires secured to the ceiling of a room. Each pendulum hovers 2 cm above the floor. Pendulum 1 has a bob with a mass of 10kg . Pendulum 2 has a bob with a mass of 100 kg . Describe how the motion of the pendula will differ if the bobs are both displaced by 12º .
Imtiaz Reply
no ideas
Augstine
if u at an angle of 12 degrees their period will be same so as their velocity, that means they both move simultaneously since both both hovers at same length meaning they have the same length
Ademiye
Modern cars are made of materials that make them collapsible upon collision. Explain using physics concept (Force and impulse), how these car designs help with the safety of passengers.
Isaac Reply
calculate the force due to surface tension required to support a column liquid in a capillary tube 5mm. If the capillary tube is dipped into a beaker of water
Mildred Reply
find the time required for a train Half a Kilometre long to cross a bridge almost kilometre long racing at 100km/h
Ademiye
method of polarization
Ajayi
What is atomic number?
Makperr Reply
The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom
Deborah
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oxygen gas contained in a ccylinder of volume has a temp of 300k and pressure 2.5×10Nm
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Practice Key Terms 1

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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