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Diffraction Pattern Project - Student Design Competition 2011

Measurement and Analysis of a Single-Slit Diffraction Pattern Using a Scanner

Contact Information

University: Acadia University (Wolville, NS Canada)

Team Member(s): Matthew Bluteau

Faculty Advisors: Dr. Peter Williams

Email Address:

Project Information

Title: Measurement and Analysis of a Single-Slit Diffraction Pattern Using a Scanner


A diffraction pattern created by a laser and a single slit was measured and analysed using LabVIEW. The data was submitted to LabVIEW through a commercial scanner connected the USB port of a computer.


LabVIEW 2009

The Challenge:

Evidently, the challenge of this project was to take the data recorded by the scanner and analyse it in LabVIEW so that something about the optical system could be determined. In particular, the width of the slit producing the diffraction pattern was a desired physical quantity.

The Solution:

For a complete description of the project with images and screeenshots, please refer to the Microsoft Word Document below.

The most prominent benefit of employing LabVIEW in this project was the ease with which the scanner could be connected to LabVIEW directly through the computer USB port. This is obviously a testament to the robustness of the LabVIEW program. Thus, I had the numerical manipulation abilities of LabVIEW combined with the ease of use of a commercial scanner. The broader impact of the use of this system, at least in my own department, is the capability to easily acquire images and manipulate and analyse the numbers which actually constitute the image.


Hello there,

Thank you so much for your project submission into the NI LabVIEW Student Design Competition. It's great to see your enthusiasm for NI LabVIEW! Make sure you share your project URL( with your peers and faculty so you can collect votes for your project and win. Collecting the most "likes" gives you the opportunity to win cash prizes for your project submission. If you or your friends have any questions about how to go about "voting" for your project, tell them to read this brief document (

I'm curious to know, what's your favorite part about using LabVIEW and how did you hear about the competition? Great work!!

Good Luck, Liz in Austin, TX.