Question

The intensity of the central maximum in the interference pattern of a Young's double-slit experiment is about four times that of either light wave. Is this a violation of the law of conservation of energy?

Solution

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In Young’s double-slit experiment the intensity of central maxima is represented by $I_0$.

\begin{align*} I &= I_0 \cos^2(\dfrac{\phi}{2})\\ \dfrac{I}{I_0} &= \cos^2(\dfrac{\phi}{2})\\ \dfrac{1}{4} &= \cos^2(\dfrac{\phi}{2})\\ \phi &= \dfrac{2\pi}{3}\\ \end{align*}

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