Add another color to your diffraction lab

  • Compare the wavelengths
  • See the difference

The Teaching Challenge

A compelling way to demonstrate the differences in diffraction patterns by changing the wavelength.

Interference for Different Colors Experiment

This experiment uses the Green Diode Laser and the Red Diode Laser in the Sensor-based Diffraction Kit to demonstrate the differences in the interference patterns caused by changing the wavelength. At right is the scan of the pattern produced by passing a red laser beam through a double slit. Below that scan is the pattern produced by passing a green laser beam through the same double slit. Note that the green laser light (wavelength = 532 nm) is diffracted to a smaller angle than the red laser light (wavelength = 650 nm). At bottom right are actual pictures of the interference patterns corresponding to the above scan. Students will be able to clearly visualize the differences caused by changing wavelengths.

Graph and actual photo of red and green laser interference patterns, clearly illustrating the green laser light is diffracted to a smaller angle than red.

The PASCO Solution

PASCO introduces its new Green Diode Laser to expand the capabilities of our Sensor-Based Diffraction Kit. Together with the Red Diode Laser in the Diffraction Kit plus your choice of ScienceWorkshop or PASPORT electronic measurement systems, you have the solution for taking your interference investigations the next big step.

Solution at a Glance

Sensor-Based Diffraction System (OS-8452) $709 1
Green Diode Laser (OS-8458) $299 1
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This solution also requires software and an interface or a standalone datalogger. For more information or to order products separately, see below.

Better than a laser pointer

Unlike a laser pointer, this green diode laser plugs into the wall, so there is no worry about batteries going dead during lab.

While most green laser pointers are 5 mW, we designed this one to be less than 1 mW so it is safer for classroom use.

Easy laser alignment

The laser is mounted at the correct height to match other components on the optics bench in the PASCO Basic Optics System. Alignment of the beam through the slits is made easy by the adjustment screws on the back of the laser. The beam can be aimed through the slits using these two thumb screws. Once the beam is aligned, either the laser or the slits can be removed from the optics bench are returned to the bench without re-aligning the beam.

PASCO's unique diffraction pattern scanning system

The Sensor-based Diffraction Kit (OS-8452) make sensors an integral part of the optics bench, allowing the diffraction patterns to be scanned into the Xplorer GLX or any computer equipped with a PASCO interface.

Light intensity patterns are scanned into the computer in real time

In this unique scanning system, the diffraction pattern is scanned using a light sensor attached to a Rotary Motion Sensor. As the wheel on the Rotary Motion Sensor is rotated by hand, the Rotary Motion Sensor moves along a gear rack (called the Linear Translator). Students make the association between the diffraction pattern they see and the real-time graph of the light intensity versus position.


Change slits in the dark without re-aligning everything

The slit wheels eliminate the frustration of trying to change the slits in a darkened room. To change the slit being illuminated by the laser, the slit wheel is simply rotated to the next positive click to lock another slit into position. The alignment of the disk only has to be done once; thereafter all the slits on that wheel will be in alignment.

Ordering Products Separately

U.S. Educator prices shown.

Start with the Diffraction System

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Sensor-Based Diffraction System (OS-8452) - $709

Enables students to scan many diffraction and interference patterns during one lab period.

  • Diode Laser -- Basic Optics (OS-8525A)
  • Precision Diffraction Slits (OS-8453)
  • Linear Translator -- Basic Optics (OS-8535A)
  • Aperture Bracket (OS-8534A)
  • 1.2 m Optics Track -- Basic Optics (OS-8508)

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Add the Green Laser

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Green Diode Laser (OS-8458) - $299

Designed to be used with Basic Optics System allowing students to explore interference patterns.

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Your sensor-based diffraction system also requires sensors and an interface.

With ScienceWorkshop Sensors

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Light Sensor (CI-6504A) - $65

Allows measurement of relativity light intensity.

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Rotary Motion Sensor (CI-6538) - $189

Allows students to measure angular velocity, acceleration, centripetal forces, and other full range of motion experiments.

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750 Interface, USB (CI-7650)
Not available for online ordering at this time. Please contact Customer Support at 877-373-0300 or 916-462-8383.

The 750 Interface allows students to measure force, temperature, pressure, angular velocity, acceleration, current, and magnetic field with a built-in function generator and oscilloscope mode.

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With PASPORT Sensors

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PASPORT High Sensitivity Light Sensor (PS-2176) - $179

Designed to perform visible light studies from low intensity spectral studies to daylight. For use with PASPORT Interfaces.

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PASPORT Rotary Motion Sensor (PS-2120A) - $169

Put a new spin on many common experiments with this highly versatile sensor.

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Xplorer GLX (PS-2002) - $389

The Xplorer GLX is a data collection, graphing, and analysis tool designed for science students and educators.

  • Two fast response, low thermal mass temperature probes.
  • Voltage probe.
  • Built-in sound sensor.
  • Built-in speaker.
  • Power adapter and battery charger.
  • USB "A" to USB "B" cable.
  • DataStudio Lite for use as a PASPORT interface to computer.
  • Users guide and tutorial CD.

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Software & Interface Options

This activity also requires software and an interface or a standalone datalogger.

Software options:

Interface options:

Standalone Options: