What is first order diffraction

The diffraction of a given narrow beam of light (corresponding to a single wavelength) with the help of a grating will produce a bright beam straight ahead and a series of beams to either side at angles where the light waves from adjacent slits reinforce each other. The first bright image on either side occurs when the difference in the pathlength of the light from the adjacent slits of the grating is the same wavelength. This is commonly reffered to as the first order diffraction maximum.

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