Physics 1304/1404 - Spring 1999

Homework Assignment #8

Due: Thursday 22 April 1999


Chapter 38.


Chapter 38 - 1, 3, 8, 11.


Chapter 38 - 1, 4, 29, 36, 50, 54.


These are the ANSWERS only, not the SOLUTIONS. It is not sufficient to copy these and turn them in as homework. You must show your work.

Q 38-1) The Fraunhofer pattern occurs when the rays are nearly parallel, either because the screen is far from the slit, or because a lens was used to make the ligth rays parallel.

The Fresnel pattern occurs close to the screen and is much more complicated to describe mathematically.

Q 38-3) The width of the central maximum gets larger. Look at Figure 38.7. The central maximum extends from sin(theta)=+lambda/a to sin(theta)=-lambda/a. As the slit width "a" is made smaller, the angles "theta" become larger.
Q 38-8) In early morning or late evening, when the Sun is close to the horizon, the light coming from the zenith is highly polarized. You can check this with a polarizing filter.

Light scattering many times in clouds (that's why they are white) loses its polarization. When you look at a cloud against the blue sky through Polaroid glasses, the polarized light of the sky is blocked but the unpolarized light from the cloud gets through.

Q 38-11) The obsidian glass is too dark for one to see the refracted ray inside the sample, but one can use Brewster's angle to measure n. Shine an incident beam of unpolarized light on a flat sample of obsidian. Vary the angle of incidence until the reflected beam is most polarized. This is Brewster's angle, and the index of refraction n=tan(Brewster's angle).
P 38-1) 632.8 nanometers (the wavelength of the light)
P 38-4) 4.22 millimeters
P 38-29) 0.068 degrees
P 38-36) 3646
P 38-50) 36.87 degrees above the horizon
P 38-54)
  1. 6.88 units
  2. 5.63 units

Please report any corrections to Professor Scalise.

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