Question

Which of the following cannot be a possible outcome of passing white light through several evenly spaced parallel slits?

- The central maximum will be white but the higher-order maxima will disperse into a rainbow of colors.
- The central maximum and higher-order maxima will be of equal widths.
- The lower wavelength components of light will have less diffraction compared to higher wavelength components for all maxima except the central one.
- None of the above.

Final Answer

(b)

### Solution video

# OpenStax College Physics for AP® Courses, Chapter 27, Problem 9 (Test Prep for AP® Courses)

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Video Transcript

This is College Physics Answers with Shaun Dychko. We have a formula here for telling us what the interference pattern will be when you have light going through several evenly-spaced parallel slits. And,

*M*is the order of the constructive interference. This is the formula for the bright fringes. And*M*can be any integer. Zero, one, negative one, two, negative two, and so on. Now, if you solve this for*Theta*, you find that*Theta*is inverse sine of the order times the wavelength divided by the distance between each slit. Now, this is nonlinear, which means that*Theta one two*is going to be different than*Theta two three*. In other words, the difference between each successive angle is not going to be the same. And so, B is the answer to this question. The central maximum and higher order maxima will be of equal widths. That's not true because this angle*Theta*will change by different amounts each time you increase the order*M*.