Thin-film interference is the phenomenon that is a result of lightwave being reflected off two surfaces that are at a distance comparable to its wavelength. Thus, there are two waves emerging from a thin film – one wave reflected off the top surface of the film and the other reflected off the bottom surface. The surface of the ham being moist means there is a thin layer of fluid, resulting in thin-film interference. The phase angle is the part of one complete wave cycle measured as a fraction of 2π (360 degrees) i.e the phase difference from one wave peak to the next is 2π (360 degrees). When the thickness is a multiple of a half-wavelength of the light, the two reflected … When the thickness of the film is an odd multiple of one quarter-wavelength of the light on it, the reflected waves from both surfaces interfere to cancel each other. Thin-film interference is a common occurrence that happens in our everyday lives. The form of reflection undergo by the light waves at each boundary depends on the refraction indexes of the two mediums. Such coatings are commonly found on some camera lenses or binocular lenses, and often have a bluish tint. In the case of 1/4 wavelength, the wave reflected off the top surface is shifted by 1/2 a wavelength by the reflection. For instance, you must have noticed some rainbow-coloured reflection in a pool of water on the side of the road or in a bubble. Thin-film interference is the phenomenon that is a result of lightwave being reflected off two surfaces that are at a distance comparable to its wavelength. 2. When light waves that reflect off the top and bottom surfaces interfere with one another we see different coloured patterns. In addition to the path length difference, there can be a phase change. 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Consider light reflecting off the top and bottom interfaces of a thin film, Path difference between the two reflected rays = µ(AB+BC) – AD. The refractive index of the thin soap film of uniform thickness is 1.4. For non-reflective coatings, then, the minimum film thickness required is: where n is the index of refraction of the coating material. It occurs mostly when light is reflected several times off (interference) the sides of thin transparent material. A source could be a monochromatic or broadband source. Thin-film interference can take place if these two light waves interfere constructively: An important consideration in determining whether these waves interfere constructively or destructively is the fact that whenever light reflects off a surface of higher index of refraction, a 180° phase shift in the wave is introduced.

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