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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

How to teach interference and diffraction in a hurry
Author(s): Henri H. Arsenault

Paper Abstract

We introduce a new approach for teaching interference and diffraction, which expresses the Huyghens-Fresnel diffraction formula in terms of the observation plane. This makes it easier to obtain the expressions for Fraunhofer diffraction and for Youn's fringes, which appear as special cases, as well as the far-field condition. This allows interference and diffraction to be covered in a fraction of the classroom time usually required. Once the approximation is made, all waves are expressed in terms of their angular distance from the optical axis. The method may be applied to more complex cases like Newton's rings and diffraction by multiple slits.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 December 1997
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 3190, Fifth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics, (8 December 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.294372
Show Author Affiliations
Henri H. Arsenault, COPL/Univ. Laval (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3190:
Fifth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics
Christiaan H. F. Velzel, Editor(s)

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