Puzzle Pieces


When way too much matter is compressed into way too small volume, you get a Black Hole.

When way too much energy is compressed into way too small volume, you get matter.

What is the shape of a photon? 


What cannot be determined directly can often be determined indirectly. In the early 20th century, Rutherford used the interaction between alpha particles and gold foil to reveal patterns that lead to his model of subatomic structure.  X-ray crystallography is used to illustrate the details of atoms in crystals including electron density, atomic bonds, and other information that cannot be directly observed. These are calculated from the angles and intensities of the altered rays.

In the Double Slit experiments, the “Interference” pattern is determined by the wavelength, distance from slits to display media, and the distance between slits.[i] This would seem to indicate that the wavelength and distance between slits are the critical elements. With the diffraction pattern displayed by a single slit, the wavelength and the size of the slit are also the critical elements. Using a thin obstruction such as a .5 mm post, also creates a diffraction pattern. In an effort to map the various patterns that can be created thru non-reflective interaction between coherent light and matter, I would like to explore the following situations.

1.      A thin obstruction such as a .5 mm post

2.      Single Slit

3.      Double Slit

4.      Pin hole(s)

5.      Pinholes with distinct shapes such as a triangle

6.      Offset sides of single slit

7.      Different angles of polarization

Some of these have already been recorded on my Research Photos page albeit with the inherent flaws created by my limited recourses (among other limitations, LED lasers do not create a consistent beam). Even with these obstacles, I believe I have seem some very interesting results such as the asymmetric patterns that this site is named after. 


End Notes;
[i] Philipp Frank, Philosophy of Science, p. 200f.



J is the distance between fringes. J = Dλ/B “D” = dist. S2 to F, λ = wavelength, B = dist. b to c  double1.JPGwhereλ is the wavelength of the light, d is the separation of the slits, the distance between A and B in the diagram to the right n is the order of maximum observed (central maximum is n = 0), x is the distance between the bands of light and the central maximum (also called fringe distance), L is the distance from the slits to the screen centerpoint, and θn is the angle between the centerpoint normal and the nth maximum.  


1. A diffraction pattern formed by a real double slit. The width of each slit is much bigger than the wavelength of the light. This is a real photo.
2. This idealized pattern is not likely to occur in real life. To get it, you would need each slit to be comparable in size to the wavelength of the light, but that’s not usually possible. This is not a real photo.
3. A real photo of a single-slit diffraction pattern caused by a slit whose width is the same as the widths of the slits used to make the top pattern. (Photos by the author.)

Double-slit diffraction is easier to understand conceptually than single slit diffraction, but if you do a double-slit diffraction experiment, in real life, you are likely to encounter a complicated pattern like pattern 1 in the figure above, rather than the simpler one, 2, you were expecting. This is because the slits are not narrower than the wavelength of the light being used. We really have two different distances in our pair of slits: d, the distance between the slits, and w, the width of each slit. Remember that smaller distances on the object the light diffracts around correspond to larger features of the diffraction pattern. The pattern 1 thus has two spacings in it: a short spacing corresponding to the large distance d, and a long spacing that relates to the small dimension w.