From the previous page, we know that a plane wave of light incident upon an aperture [A(x)]
will produce the Fourier Transform of A(x) on the image plane. As an example, let A(x) be given
by:
We already know what the
Fourier Transform of the square box function is -
it's the sinc function. Using equation [1] from the box function page,
we can the Fourier Transform of A(x) {this page's equation [1]}:
Equation [2] gives us the E-fields that are on the image plane. In real life, our eyes see the magnitude squared
of the E-field, which is the intensity of light (this is because the eye doesn't know what a negative or positive E-field is,
it just sees light). Hence, the intensity of light (
Now we are ready to talk about the famous experiment of Thomas Young in 1803. This experiment is the original
"proof" that light behaved as a wave, shattering the Newtonian view of light as a particle. Young let sunshine in
through a small pinhole at one end of the room. He then allowed it to pass through two apertures, separated by a distance
Figure 1. The Setup for Young's Light Diffraction Experiment.
The Aperture Function A(x) corresponding to Figure 1 is given in Equation [4], and plotted in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Plot of the Aperture Function A(x).
Given A(x), we can now take the Fourier Transform to get the image. First, let's get the Fourier Transform
of one of the rectangles functions of Equation [4]. This can be done simply,
using the Fourier Transform Shift Property,
along with the fact that we already know the Fourier Transform of the rect function is the sinc:
Similarly, we can find the Fourier Transform of the other rectangle function that makes up A(x):
Recall the cosine relationship:
Finally, using the linearity of the Fourier Transform,
and Equations [4-7], we can get the Fourier Transform of A(x):
Here is an example of the diffraction pattern (the image intensity) for W=3*lambda, and D = 10*lambda:
Figure 3. Example Image Plane Intensity for the Double Slit Aperture.
The actual image Young saw would have looked somewhat similar to Figure 4:
Figure 4. Image Plane for Double Slit Light Intensity Experiment.
There you have it. The above is the process Young went through in order to prove light behaved as a wave, at least
in some cases. The image of Figure 4 resembles what Young originally saw, moving the world of Physics in a new direction.
The Fourier Transform makes the math here very simple, and allows for an underlying understanding (intuition) on how
the light is behaving. If you understand the Fourier Transform, you understand the diffraction through the aperture.

[Equation 1]
[Equation 2]
*I*) on the image plane for the single aperture of Equation [1]
is given by:
[Equation 3]
## Young's Experiment

*D*, and each of width *W*. The aperture in question is illustrated in Figure 1.
[Equation 4]
[Equation 5]
[Equation 6]
[Equation 7]
[Equation 8]

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