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Double Slit Experiment (Physics)

Rating: 4 stars
Used in Course: Not used in course
Submitted by: Barbra Bied Sperling (Staff), Jan 29, 2001
Comment: I spent about 10 minutes working with this item. It is a simple and
surprisingly effective qualitative demonstration of the interference of waves
emanating from two slits. The applet is simple to operate, and generally
straight-forward. There are some undocumented features: For example, the user
can click and drag the slits closer together or further apart (however, the
change is not reflected in the "distance" box). Also, clicking the right mouse
button toggles the effect of the left mouse button.
The applet is visually effective, with the regions of maximum interference
clearly visible. Unfortunately, these regions appear white, the opposite from
the black representing matching phase points (e.g., peak values).
As is, the applet is a simple way to illustrate qualitative effects of
constructive interference, although the explanation of a teacher needs to
accompany its use. Its usefulness would be much improved by gray-scale intensity
representation and/or the inclusion of some simple tools or information that
would allow quantitative analysis.