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I am confused by what the problem is asking. Im pretty sure it has to do with single slit diffracton but I don't know what to do. Thanks for any help.

Light of wavelength 630 nm from a distant source is falling on a slit of width 0.5 mm. The diffraction pattern is observed on a screen 3.00 m away. What is the width of the central maximum?

For a single slit the equation:

n*lambda=d*(x/L) predicts the nodes.

If you determine the location x of the first, n=1, node and double it you will have the width of the central maximum!

x=n*lambda*L/d=1*630x10^-9m*3.0m/(5x10^-4m)=3.78x10^-3m

Multiply by 2 to get the total width:

2*3.78x10^-3m= 7.56x10^-3m=7.56mm

Physics

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I am teaching or have taught AP physics B and C [calculus based mechanics & electricity and magnetism] as well as Lab Physics for college bound students. I have a BS in Physics from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Arts in Teaching from same. I have been teaching physics for 34 years. I am constantly updating my skills and have a particular interest in modern physics topics.