Thursday, March 19, 2009

Newton Rings

I took this pic on Tuesday. It is a laser pointer shot though a small hole (a diameter of ~ 4mm) with water in the hole creating a small lens. The rings are caused by wave interference patterns. The bright rings are constructive interference and the dark rings are destructive interference. This demonstrates the odd behavior of light at the quantum level, however I still don't understand why there are so many Newton Rings unless the water drop's edge is scallop shaped, which might be the case because I drilled the hole through a piece of metal with my old Wegner Swiss army knife. The metal was the lid from a jar of jam. Hey...its called small scale/zero-budget science!
Regardless, the universe is a pretty cool place.

BTW to capture the image, I had my camera (Canon SD1000) set on a tripod and on automatic (custom) timer mode. It took 4 shots.

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