Young's Interference Experiment and the Spectrometer


IN NATURE of April 28, p. 268, Dr. R. A. Houstoun directs attention to the use of the spectrometer for Young's double-slit experiment. In a letter on “The Visibility of Interference Fringes and the Double Slit” (NATURE, July 26, 1917, vol. xcix., p. 424) the present writer made reference to a similar optical arrangement. In that letter emphasis was laid, not on the advantages of the method for observing fringes and evaluating wave-length, but on its use for studying the changes in the visibility of fringes which occur as the width of the spectrometer slit is altered. In view of Prof. Michelson's recent use of the double slit for the measurement of the angular width of distant stars, I may be pardoned for directing attention to my note of some years ago, and for pointing out the ease with which an experiment similar in method to that of Prof. Michelson may be performed by means of an ordinary spectrometer. It is true that, instead of using a source of fixed (but finite) width and a variable double slit, the converse arrangement was employed, but in principle the methods are identical. It might be worth while, however, to vary the experiment by replacing the spectrometer slit by a small circular aperture and using a double slit of variable width.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

ROBERTSON, J. Young's Interference Experiment and the Spectrometer. Nature 107, 457 (1921).

Download citation


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.