Photo: Bright colors from a soap bubble.
These bright colors seen in a soap bubble's thin film are the
result of wave interference. Light that is reflected from one
surface of the soap film interferes with light reflected from
the other surface. As the thickness of the soap film changes,
the colors we see also change.
|Chapter 20 Wave Optics|
|20.1 Huygen's Principle|
|20.2 Young's Double-Slit|
|20.3 Diffraction Grafting|
|20.5 Thin Films|
|20.7 End of chapter Materials|
In the past chapters we have focused our attention on rays of light. Rays are a convenience for understanding image formation. You may think of a ray as a very thin beam of light. You may even picture a ray as a stream of tiny particles. Newton did this. Newton called these tiny particles of light "corpuscles"; today we call them photons. But light is also a wave. In the previous two chapters we have not used the wave nature of light to understand how-and where-images are formed. But now we are ready to look at this wave nature of light and the remarkable results that it produces.