What Is Fringe Width?

Juliet D'cruz

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What Is Fringe Width

Are you curious to know what is fringe width? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about fringe width in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is fringe width?

In the realm of physics, there are phenomena that challenge our intuition and captivate our imagination. One such phenomenon is the “fringe width,” a concept often encountered in the study of optics and wave behavior. Fringe width is a fundamental measurement that provides insights into the behavior of light and waves, particularly in the context of interference and diffraction patterns. In this blog, we will embark on a journey to demystify the fringe width, understand its significance, and explore how it influences our understanding of light and waves.

What Is Fringe Width?

Fringe width refers to the distance between two consecutive bright or dark fringes in an interference or diffraction pattern. These patterns arise when two or more waves interact, leading to constructive or destructive interference. Fringe width is a crucial parameter that characterizes the spacing between these fringes and holds valuable information about the nature of the waves and the geometry of the setup.

Interference And Diffraction Patterns

Interference and diffraction are phenomena that occur when waves combine and interact with each other:

  1. Interference: Interference occurs when two or more waves superpose and interact. Constructive interference leads to bright fringes, while destructive interference results in dark fringes. Fringe width helps determine the separation between these fringes.
  2. Diffraction: Diffraction involves the bending of waves as they encounter obstacles or openings. It gives rise to patterns of alternating bright and dark regions. Fringe width in diffraction patterns provides insights into the size of the diffracting aperture and the wavelength of the waves.

Significance Of Fringe Width

  1. Wavelength Measurement: Fringe width can be used to determine the wavelength of light or other waves. By knowing the fringe width and the distance between the screen and the source, scientists can calculate the wavelength using simple trigonometry.
  2. Wave Nature of Light: The study of fringe width reaffirms the wave nature of light, providing experimental evidence for phenomena that cannot be explained by particle-like behavior.
  3. Precision Instrumentation: Fringe width measurements are crucial in fields like spectroscopy, microscopy, and interferometry, where high-precision measurements of wavelengths or distances are essential.
  4. Engineering and Optics: Fringe width considerations are crucial in designing optical instruments and systems, such as diffraction gratings, lasers, and interferometers.

Real-World Applications

  1. Michelson Interferometer: Fringe width plays a significant role in the Michelson interferometer, a device used in various scientific and engineering applications, including measuring the speed of light and detecting gravitational waves.
  2. Holography: Fringe width is central to the creation of holograms, where interference patterns are recorded on a photosensitive medium to generate three-dimensional images.
  3. Optical Fiber Communications: Fringe width concepts are utilized in the design and optimization of optical fiber communication systems, which transmit data using light signals.


The fringe width, with its intricate interplay of interference and diffraction, opens a window into the wave nature of light and waves. It reveals the hidden beauty of patterns that emerge when waves interact, providing a deeper understanding of optics and paving the way for technological advancements in fields as diverse as engineering, communication, and instrumentation. As scientists and researchers continue to explore the nuances of fringe width, they uncover new layers of knowledge that expand our comprehension of the fundamental principles that govern the behavior of light and waves.


What Is The Definition Of Fringe Width?

Fringe width is the distance between two consecutive bright spots (maximas, where constructive interference take place) or two consecutive dark spots (minimas, where destructive interference take place). Let’s derive an expression for the linear and angular fringe width. Created by Mahesh Shenoy.

What Is The Fringe Width In Young’s Experiment?

In Young’s double slit experiment, the fringe width is 1×10−4m, if the distance between the slit and screen is doubled and the distance between two slits is reduced to half and the wavelength is changed from 6. 4×10−7m to 4.

What Is The Fringe Width At A Distance Of 50?

11.33) The fringe width at a distance of 50cm from the slits in young’s experiment for light of wavelength 6000Aº is 0.048cm.

What Is D And D In Fringe Width?

$ \Delta y = \dfrac{{\lambda D}}{d} $ where $ \Delta y $ is the fringe width of the interference pattern, $ \lambda $ is the wavelength of the light, $ D $ is the distance between the sources of light, and $ d $ is the distance between the two coherent slits.

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