Newton's rings

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1. (in optics) Interference fringes formed by placing a slightly convex lens on a flat glass plate. If monochromatic light is reflected by the two close surfaces into the observer's eye at a suitable angle, the point of contact of the lens is seen as a dark spot surrounded by a series of bright and dark rings. The radius of the nth dark ring is given by rn = √nRλ, where λ is the wavelength and R is the radius of curvature of the lens. The phenomenon is used in the quality testing of lens surfaces. With white light, coloured rings are formed.

2. (in photography) The irregular patterns produced by thin film interference between a projected transparency and its cover glass.

Subjects: Physics.

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