6D20.10 - Gratings - Cornell Plate

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Gratings - Cornell Plate
Refraction and Dispersion
Area of Study:
Optics, Astronomy
Laser (2 to 5 mw.), Optics Rail, Cornel Plate, template guide, flashlight, laser goggles.

The Cornel plate has single slits of different width,  double slits of different widths and different spacing, and a grating section.  Align the laser with the desired slit and project onto the screen.  The grating spacing verses dispersion should be readily apparent.  While this works best in the dark it is easier to move from slit to slit with the use of the flashlight.

  • Dinh Xuan Khoa and Nguyen Huy Bang, "A Low-Cost Experimental Kit for Teaching Wave Optics Based on the CDIO Approach", TPT, Vol. 57, #3, Mar. 2019, p. 168.
  • Paul Gluck, "Compact Disk Optics", TPT, Vol. 40, #8, Nov. 2002, p. 468. 
  • Christian Noldeke, "Compact Disc Diffraction",TPT, Vol. 28, #7, Oct. 1990, p. 484.
  • Mary Lou Clark, "Measuring the Wavelength of Light", TPT, Vol. 2, #2, Feb. 1964, p. 85.
  • Christian Brand, Stephan Troyer, Christian Knobloch, Ori Cheshnovsky, Markus Arndt, "Single-, Double-, and Triple-Slit Diffraction of Molecular Matter Waves", AJP, Vol. 89, #12, Dec. 2021, p. 1132.
  • Laxman G. Phadke and Jim Allen, "Diffraction Patterns for the Oblique Gratings", AJP, Vol. 55, #6, June 1987, p. 562.
  • T. Kallard, "Simple Optical System for Fraunhofer Diffraction Experiements", Exploring Laser Light, p. 188.
  • S. F. Jacobs, "Advanced Experiments With Diffraction Gratings", Optical Sciences Center, The University of Arizona, 1996.
  • Robert Ehrlich, "Measuring the Wavelength of Light by Ruler", Why Toast Lands Jelly-Side Down, p. 172 - 173.
  • Seville Chapman and Harold Meese, "Effective and Inexpensive Slits for Teaching Physical Optics", Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, Inc., Buffalo, New York, August 8, 1956.
  • "The Diffraction Grating", Selective Experiments in Physics, CENCO, 1962.
  • "Diffraction Grating, Simple", Selective Experiments in Physics, CENCO, 1959.

Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.