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# Chapter 38

## Diffraction and Polarization

Multiple Choice
1.

Helium-neon laser light ( = 6.33 107 m) is sent through a 0.30 mm-wide single
slit. What is the width of the central maximum on a screen 1.0 m from the slit?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

2.

The pupil of a cats eye narrows to a slit width of 0.5 mm in daylight. What is the
angular resolution of the cats eye in daylight ( = 500 nm)?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

3.

A narrow slit is illuminated with sodium yellow light of wavelength 589 nm. If
the central maximum extends to 30, how wide is the slit?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

4.

2.0 cm
4.2 mm
1.1 cm
2.0 mm
0.70 mm

0.50 mm
2.2 106 m
3.3 105 m
1.18 m
5.89 m

How wide must a narrow slit be if the first diffraction minimum occurs at 12
with laser light of 633 nm?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

3 106 m
3 105 m
6 106 m
6 105 m
1.5 106 m

295

296

5.

CHAPTER 38

Plane waves of ultrasound, f = 51.0 kHz, impinge on a flat plane with a 1.00 cmwide slit. What is the total angular width (2) of diffracted sound waves when
the speed of sound in air is 340 m/sec.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

6.

A ruby laser beam ( = 694.3 nm) is sent outwards from a 2.7-m diameter
telescope to the moon, 384,000 km away. What is the radius of the big red spot on
the moon?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

7.

## At what distance could one theoretically distinguish two automobile headlights

separated by 1.5 meters? Assume a pupil diameter of 0.50 cm and yellow
headlights seen at the wavelength 5.0 107 m. Assume eye fluid has an average
n = 1.33.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

9.

500 m
250 m
120 m
1.0 km
2.7 km

The large space telescope that has been placed into an Earth orbit has an aperture
diameter of 2.4 meters. What angular resolution will this telescope achieve for
visible light of wavelength = 4.8 107 m?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

8.

167
83.6
19.5
41.8
0.11

6.0 km
12 km
9.0 km
3.0 km
16 km

## A binary star system in the constellation Orion has an angular separation

between the two stars of 1.2 105 radians. If = 5 107 m, what is the smallest
aperture (diameter) telescope that may be used to resolve the two stars?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

10 cm
5 cm
50 cm
1m
4 cm

10.

## A radar installation operates at 9000 MHz with an antenna (dish) that is

15 meters across. Determine the maximum distance (in kilometers) for which this
system can distinguish two aircraft 100 meters apart.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

11.

1.81 106 m
1.00 105 m
1.00 104 m
1.31 106 m
6.76 107 m

Determine the number of grating lines necessary to resolve the 589.59 nm and
589.00 nm sodium lines in second order.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

14.

18.4
39.2
14.6
27.7
13.9

## A helium-neon laser ( = 632.8 nm) is used to calibrate a diffraction grating. If the

first-order maximum occurs at 20.5, what is the line spacing, d?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

13.

7.4 km
370 km
3700 m
37 km
740 km

## Monochromatic light from a He-Ne laser ( = 632.8 nm) is incident on a

diffraction grating containing 5000 lines/cm. Determine the angle of the firstorder maximum.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

12.

297

999
680
500
340
380

## Two spectral lines in a mixture of hydrogen and deuterium gas have

wavelengths of 656.30 nm and 656.48 nm, respectively. Determine the number of
lines a diffraction grating must have to resolve these two wavelengths in first
order.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

1825
3650
5475
7300
2740

298

15.

CHAPTER 38

White light is spread out into spectral hues by a diffraction grating. If the grating
has 1000 lines per cm, at what angle will red light ( = 640 nm) appear in first
order?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

16.

In an X-ray diffraction experiment using X-rays of = 0.500 1010 m, a firstorder maximum occurred at 5.00. Find the crystal plane spacing.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

17.

0.0943 nm
0.139 nm
0.0695 nm
1.02 1010 m
3.47 1011 m

If the interplanar spacing of NaCl is 2.814 1010 m, what is the predicted angle
at which X-rays of wavelength 0.140 nm will be diffracted in a first-order
maximum?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

19.

2.87 1010 m
1.36 1010 m
6.24 109 m
1.93 109 m
5.74 109 m

## A beam of X-rays of different frequencies is reflected at 10 degrees off a crystal of

interatomic spacing 0.2 nm. Which X-ray wavelength is preferentially reflected?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

18.

14.68
7.35
17.73
3.67
1.84

31.3
7.20
20.5
14.4
29.8

Unpolarized light is passed through three successive Polaroid filters, each with
its transmission axis at 45 to the preceding filter. What percentage of light gets
through?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

0%
12.5%
25%
50%
33%

## Diffraction and Polarization

20.

What is the relative intensity of blue light ( = 4.4 107 m) to red light
( = 6.6 107 m) in the scattered light in the Earths atmosphere?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

21.

22.2
7.7
16.6
36.9
53.1

## Light reflected off a plate-glass window (n = 1.5) is found to be completely

polarized at angle-of-incidence . Find .
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

24.

52.6
25.6
65.2
56.2
49.8

How far above the horizon is the moon when its image, reflected in a calm lake,
is completely polarized? (nwater = 1.33.)
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

23.

2:1
4:3
3:2
5:1
9:4

## Sunlight reflected from a smooth ice surface is completely polarized. Determine

the angle of incidence. (nice = 1.31.)
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

22.

299

56.3
5.7
21.2
18.6
33.7

If the polarizing angle (the angle at which reflected light is completely plane
polarized) of a flat piece of sapphire is 60.5, what is its index of refraction?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

1.97
1.77
1.59
2.36
1.82

300

25.

CHAPTER 38

The polarizing angle in air for diamond is 67.4. Calculate the critical angle inside
the diamond for total internal reflection.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

26.

The hydrogen spectrum has a red line at 656 nm, and a blue line at 434 nm. What
is the first order angular separation between the two spectral lines obtained with
a diffraction grating with 5000 rulings/cm?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

27.

9.9
7.6
13.3
15.5
6.5

What, approximately, are the dimensions of the smallest object on Earth that the
astronauts can resolve by eye at 200 km height from the space shuttle? Assume
= 500 nm light and a pupil diameter D = 0.50 cm. Assume eye fluid has an
average n = 1.33.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

29.

7.7
16.6
6.6
3.2
19.2

Potassium Iodide (chemical formula: KI) has a face-centered cubic structure (just
like sodium chloride). If the distance between crystal planes is d = 0.353 nm and
X-rays of wavelength = 0.0934 nm are used, what is the smallest angle at
which a diffraction maximum may be obtained?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

28.

32.6
22.6
24.6
28.6
48.8

150 m
100 m
250 m
25 m
18 m

Polarized light is to have its polarization plane rotated by 90. In which of the
following cases does the final beam have the greatest intensity?
a.
b.
c.
d.

## 3 polarizing filters, each rotate beam by 30

2 polarizing filters, both rotate beam by 45
1 polarizing filter, rotating beam by 90.
None of above, polarized light cant be rotated.

## Diffraction and Polarization

30.

If the polarizing angle for cubic zirconia (zirconium oxide) is 65.6, what is the
index of refraction of the material?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

31.

b.
c.
d.
e.

the pattern shrinks in size. (central maximum less wide; other maxima in
closer to it)
the pattern increases in size. (central maximum wider; other maxima farther
from it)
it does not affect the size of the pattern.
the width of the central maximum increases, but the other maxima do not
change in position or width.
the width of the central maximum decreases, but the other maxima do not
change in position or width.

When you look at a single slit diffraction pattern produced on a screen by light of
a single wavelength, you see a bright central maximum and a number of maxima
on either side, their intensity decreasing with distance from the central
maximum. If the width of the slit is decreased,
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

33.

1.8
2.0
2.2
2.4
1.1

When you look at a single slit diffraction pattern produced on a screen by light of
a single wavelength, you see a bright central maximum and a number of maxima
on either side, their intensity decreasing with distance from the central
maximum. If the wavelength of the light is increased,
a.

32.

301

the pattern shrinks in size. (central maximum less wide; other maxima in
closer to it)
the pattern increases in size. (central maximum wider; other maxima farther
from it)
it does not affect the size of the pattern.
the width of the central maximum increases, but the other maxima do not
change in position or width.
the width of the central maximum decreases, but the other maxima do not
change in position or width.

When you look at a single slit diffraction pattern produced on a screen by light of
a single wavelength, you see a bright central maximum and a number of maxima
on either side, their intensity decreasing with distance from the central
maximum. If the width of the slit is increased,
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

the pattern shrinks in size. (central maximum less wide; other maxima in
closer to it)
the pattern increases in size. (central maximum wider; other maxima farther
from it)
it does not affect the size of the pattern.
the width of the central maximum increases, but the other maxima do not
change in position or width.
the width of the central maximum decreases, but the other maxima do not
change in position or width.

302

34.

CHAPTER 38

You could determine the index of refraction for visible light of a dark but
reflective medium such as black glass by measuring the
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

35.

## A slit of variable width illuminated by light of wavelength is widened until the

first order diffraction minimum moves out to a distance infinitely far away from
the brightest location in the central maximum. In terms of the wavelength, the
width of the slit is then
a.

0.

b.

.
2
.
3
.
2
2.

c.
d.
e.
36.

The centers of two slits of width a are a distance d apart. If the first minimum of
the interference pattern occurs at the location of the first minimum of the
diffraction pattern for light of wavelength , the ratio a/d is equal to
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

37.

## angles of incidence and refraction.

angle of reflection for an arbitrary angle of incidence.
angle at which reflected light is completely polarized.
smallest angle at which X-ray diffraction occurs in the glass.
smallest angle at which diffraction occurs for visible light when a diffraction
pattern is scratched onto the surface.

0.
1
.
2
1.
1.5.
2.

The centers of two slits of width a are a distance d apart. If the fourth minimum
of the interference pattern occurs at the location of the first minimum of the
diffraction pattern for light of wavelength , the ratio a/d is equal to
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

0.
1
.
4
2
.
7
1
.
3
2
.
5

38.

## Which of the patterns shown below would appear on a screen when

monochromatic light first passes through a narrow slit for which a = and then
strikes the screen? Note that the darkest area in each illustration represents the
brightest area on the screen.

(a)

(b)

(d)

39.

(c)

(e )

Scattered light in the atmosphere is often partially polarized. The best way to
determine whether or not light from a particular direction in the sky shows
polarization is to
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

40.

303

## diffract the light through a single slit.

squint while looking in that direction.
rotate a piece of polaroid film about an axis parallel to the ray while looking
through it in that sky direction.
rotate a piece of polaroid film about an axis perpendicular to the ray while
looking through it in that sky direction.
reflect the rays from that direction on a shiny metal surface.

When you look through a sheer curtain at a distant street lamp, you see a pattern
of colored spots of light. This occurs by
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

## polarization of light in scattering and partial absorption by the threads.

interference of light waves that pass through the threads with light waves
that pass through the openings between the threads.
refraction of light waves differentially in the cylindrical threads.
diffraction of light waves passing through the two dimensional pattern of
openings between the threads.
reflection of light waves by the sides of the threads.

304

41.

CHAPTER 38

Each pattern shown below would appear on a screen when monochromatic light
first passes through a narrow slit of width a and then strikes a screen. The
darkest areas on the page represent the brightest areas on the screen. In which
case is the slit illuminated with light of the shortest wavelength?

a.

c.
42.

b.

d.

Each pattern shown below would appear on a screen when monochromatic light
first passes through a narrow slit of width a and then strikes a screen. The
darkest areas on the page represent the brightest areas on the screen. In which
case is the slit illuminated with light of the longest wavelength?

a.

c.
43.

e.

b.

d.

e.

Each pattern shown below would appear on a screen when monochromatic light
of wavelength first passes through a narrow slit of width a and then strikes a
screen. The darkest areas on the page represent the brightest areas on the screen.
In which case does the slit have the narrowest width?

a.

c.

b.

d.

e.

## Diffraction and Polarization

44.

Each pattern shown below would appear on a screen when monochromatic light
of wavelength first passes through a narrow slit of width a and then strikes a
screen. The darkest areas on the page represent the brightest areas on the screen.
In which case does the slit have the greatest width?

a.

c.
45.

b.

d.

e.

## A single slit of width a is illuminated by light of wavelength . If a = 4.3 , the

maximum number of dark fringes on a semi-circular screen surrounding the slit
is
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

46.

305

2.
4.
6.
8.
9.

Janes flashy boy friend has just given her a ring with a huge diamond. Jane,
who has studied physics, measures the polarizing angle for the stone and finds
that the polarizing angle is 62.97 . The stone is
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

fluoride, n = 1.560 .
crown glass, n = 1.517 .
spinel, n = 1.712 .
zircon, n = 1.960 .
diamond, n = 2.417 .

306

CHAPTER 38

Open-Ended Problems
47.

Light from a helium-neon laser ( = 632.8 nm) is incident upon a 0.200-mm wide
slit. Find the total width of the central maximum 2.00 m from the slit.

48.

A diffraction grating with 4000 lines/cm is illuminated by light from the sun.
The solar spectrum is spread out on a white wall across the room. At what angle
from the center line does blue light (400 nm) appear? At what angle from the
center line does red light (650 nm) appear?

49.

Light strikes a flat water surface (n = 1.333) at the Brewster angle. Calculate the
angle between the reflected and the refracted ray.

50.

## The spacing between reflecting planes in a crystal is 2.82 1010 m. A beam of

X-rays is strongly reflected at an angle of 16 with the crystal face. What is the
wavelength of the X-rays?

51.

Suppose a 5-meter diameter telescope were constructed on the dark side of the
moon. The viewing there (except for brief periods of sunlight) would be
excellent. As an example, what would be the separation between two objects that
could just be resolved on the planet Mars in 500 nm light? [The distance to Mars
at closest approach is 50 million miles].

## Diffraction and Polarization

Chapter 38
Diffraction and Polarization
1.

27.

2.

28.

3.

29.

4.

30.

5.

31.

6.

32.

7.

33.

8.

34.

9.

35.

10.

36.

11.

37.

12.

38.

13.

39.

14.

40.

15.

41.

16.

42.

17.

43.

18.

44.

19.

45.

20.

46.

21.

47.

1.27 cm

22.

48.

9.2, 15.1

23.

49.

90

24.

25.

50.

1.55 1010 m

26.

51.

9.8 km

307

308

CHAPTER 38