Intensity Profiles for Newton's Rings

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Newton's rings appear as a series of alternating bright and dark rings when monochromatic light is incident on a spherical lens in contact with a flat surface.


The intensity variation in the interference pattern for Newton's rings for transmitted light is given by the equation . The intensity of the rings for reflected light is given by the equation , since there is a phase change of after reflection.

Here is the wavelength of light, is the radius of the Newton's rings and is the radius of curvature of the plano-convex lens.


Contributed by: Kallol Das (September 2016)
Dept. of Physics, St. Aloysius College (Autonomous), Jabalpur, India
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA




[1] K. D. Möller, Optics: Learning by Computing with Examples Using MathCAD, New York: Springer, 2003.

[2] A. N. Mateev, Optics, Moscow: Mir Publishers, 1988.

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