Interferometry is the name for a class of measurement techniques based on the interference of coherent optical fields or other electromagnetic radiation. Generally, Interferometric measurements are extremely accurate, but can be difficult to perform. Common uses for interferometry are optical ...

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A moderate introduction to Hanbury Brown Twiss interferometry in particle physics

For astronomy, as originally invented, the Hanbury Brown Twiss interferometer is good for finding the angular diameter of stars and is not a rapidly fluctuating observable like the amplitude in ...
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Is that a result of thin-film interference?

Several years ago, I was laying on my bed and had a CD shaped transparent plastic disk (which was covering a 100 CD stack), basically a transparent CD. I don't know why but I took my phone and took a ...
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Educational applications of a small Michelson interferometer?

The community college where I teach has some nice old Michelson interferometers. There appear to be a bunch of versions of these that used to be sold (may still be sold?) which were all probably ...
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191 views

Simplest interferometer

I want to build simplest interferometer which should be able to measure movements down to fraction of wavelength. What is the simplest scheme for that, and what are the requirements for a laser? I ...
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133 views

Explanation of Michelson Interferometer Fringe Shift

I have been working on an experiment where 2 glass microscope slides are pinched together at one end (so that there is a "wedge" of air between them) and placed in the path of a laser in one leg of a ...
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Is it possible to make a hydrogen-alpha solar scope?

Is the construction of an etalon / Fabry-Pérot interferometer within the reach of amateur telescope makers? Are there any resources pointing to such projects?
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Could many widely separated space telescopes be combined for VLBI on IR/visible wavelengths?

I have read about ground-based Very Long Baseline Interferometry telescope arrays able to achieve huge resolution at IR/visible wavelengths. There are also space-ground VLBI configurations in ...
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609 views

How is the Hanbury-Brown and Twiss effect used to measure the size of stars?

I understand what an Hanbury Brown and Twiss (HBT) interferometer does, but how can this be used to measure the apparent angular diameter of some object? What is the mathematical explaination?
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580 views

Beam splitters and Mach-Zender interferometers

I have a question (my very first here) related to 50/50 beam splitters as used in the Mach-Zehnder interferometers (see for example the Wikipedia page). Let's concentrate on the input beam splitter: ...
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In interferometry, what is the origin of the name “Airy function”?

In interferometry (specifically, in the domain of Fabry-Perot cavities), the function $$f(\phi) = \frac{1}{1 + F \sin^2 \phi}$$ , which describes the shape of the resonant structure of the cavity, is ...
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298 views

Michelson–Morley @ Home

The Michelson-Morley experiment seems to have taken many years, resources and a nervous breakdown to complete. Is it possible to recreate a variation of this experiment at home for say, under $1000, ...
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Can the Hanbury-Brown and Twiss effect be used to measure the size of composite objects like galaxies?

I know that the Hanbury-Brown and Twiss effect can be used to measure the size of stars. Can it also be used to measure the size of galaxies?
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Are Newton's gravity waves detectable by a laser interferometer?

Newton's theory of gravity supports "gravity waves" in that moving objects cause changing gravitational fields. For example, two bodies rotating around their center of mass will have a stronger ...
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How can laser interferomerty be used to measure path difference smaller than wavelength of laser light?

The currently proposed Gravitational wave detection apparatus consists of Michelson Interferometer which is supposed to measure distances of the order of $10^{-22}$m. But the wavelength of the light ...
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978 views

How is a one position shift of an interferometer fringe pattern defined?

When Michelson and Morley conducted their 1887 interferometer experiment, they were expecting a fringe pattern shift of 0.4 (see the chart at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson-Morley_experiment). ...
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214 views

How to interpret single photon interference when the two possible paths are different in length?

Here is my question. I struggle with the definition of single photon interference. Let’s assume we have a Michelson interferometer and the interference pattern we observe is a single photon result, ...
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200 views

Why removing one slab in Michelson-Morley experiment causes an elliptical fringe pattern?

I performed Morley experiment using He-Ne laser. Two glass slabs were there and circular fringes were formed but when I removed one slab elliptical fringes were there (and less intense fringes). Why? ...
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42 views

Do stars produce spatially coherent light? Why?

If I understand correctly, the existance of astronomical interferometry implies coherence of light produces by stars. The temporal coherence can probably be achieved by wavelength filters. But what ...
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311 views

How do animal perceive distances with their eyes and ears

I am studying how animals (including the human beings) can perceive distances thanks to their eyes and their ears. I am focusing on the fact that they always go in pairs: two eyes, two ears, etc. ...
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552 views

Michelson interferometry - is a compensator plate necessary?

I am studying the Michelson interferometer shown in figure 2 (similar design shown below) of the AMRITA vlabs tutorial. There it is stated that Since the reflecting surface of the beam splitter ...
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106 views

How can I easily explain interference to a tour group?

I'm looking for unique and illustrative ways to explain the phenomenon of interference to a tour group consisting of all types of people, from elementary school kids to adults. I run into this ...
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99 views

Michelson interferogram white light pattern symmetry

Why is the white light of the interferogram produced by using Michelson Interferometer necessarily symmetric? This is really hard to think.
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326 views

Misaligned Mirror on Michelson Inferometer

If one of the outer mirrors on a Michelson interferometer was to be misaligned by a small angle of theta, what would be the shape of the interference pattern in the detector plane? What would happen ...
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61 views

Classical and semi-classical vs quantum interferometry

What is the difference between classical, semi-classical and quantum interferometry? How the detectors look like? As far as I know in classical interferometry light is treated as a wave, whereas in ...
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557 views

Single photon interference experiment

In short: the question is, does the length of the path affect the outcome of detecting a photon? Consider the single photon beam splitter experiment. Does the probability of detecting the photon ...
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404 views

How does a warp field interferometer work?

Assume I have a solid grasp of undergraduate physics. From what I've read the warp field interferometer is supposed to be a sort of Michelson interferometer, except instead of adjusting the ...
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SU(3) interferometry with qutrits

It is well known that a two-mode interferometer can be described in terms of $SU(2)$ group Smerzi. I wonder if something symilar exists for three mode interferometer and qutrit states ? Not only ...
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Alma correlator for visible light and for space based telescopes?

I was shocked to see that one can simulate interferometry on a computer like the ALMA Correlator described by this video (posted on Wikipedia's article on ALMA) Is is possible to do the same in ...
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SHS Interferometer and diffraction limit

I'm currently researching Spatial Heterodyned Spectrometers (SHS) and I'm a bit at a loss understanding the influence of the diffraction limit. I'll be measuring a diffuse visible light source with ...
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249 views

Interferometers and Earth's motion relative to the Aether

Why was the Michelson and not the Fabry-Perot interferometer used to detect the motion of Earth relative to the Aether? Maybe the Fabry-Perot was used but we all know that the most famous experiment ...
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135 views

Polarizing beam splitters for X-rays?

What is the lower bound for the wavelength concerning polarizing beam splitters? Especially I ask for interferometer experiments with single photons. Of course I know that they exist for all ...
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831 views

Calculating the coherence length from a spectrum

I have measured the spectrum of the LED in my interferometry set-up, and now I want to calculate the coherence length from it. A commonly found formula is $l_{coh} = \frac{c}{\Delta f}$, sometimes ...
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316 views

Do interference rings disappear in an interferometer if the path lengths are identical?

Consider a standard Michelson Interferometer (I took the picture from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interferometer) The incident beam is split into two parts, where the two parts travel on different ...
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115 views

How to shift a laser wavelength?

Recently I have read something about the laser surface velocimeter, and after I have to rebuild from scratch (university project), I got a question: In the description they wrote that one of the laser ...
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54 views

Non resonant modes in cavity

I have a simple question. Suppose we have a laser with a cavity such that the frequency of the light that the laser emits does not match with any longitudinal modes allowed by the cavity. In ...
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207 views

Coherence length requirement for interference

One property of light sources that is usually stated, which is of particular importance when trying to create interference fringes, is the coherence length (or coherence time). The equation for the ...
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How accurately do Airy discs need to be superimposed in an optical interferometer to create fringes?

In an astronomical optical interferometer, what is the largest amount of error in the alignment of the Airy disks of point source star images from different arms of the interferometer that will still ...
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53 views

A problem regarding the Elitzur-Vaidman bomb tester

To quote wikipedia Step-by-step explanation After being emitted, the photon 'probability' wave will both pass through the first 50% reflecting mirror (take the lower-route) and be reflected ...
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124 views

Splitting a light wave

What I want to ask is what would happen if you split a single light ray (a photon) into two using a half silvered mirror? Would the emerging light rays have half the amplitude as the original one or ...
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40 views

Optical interferometers resolution

I found this interesting list of optical interferometers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_astronomical_interferometers_at_visible_and_infrared_wavelengths But I can't understand which is the ...
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58 views

Rotation speed measurment

Could anyone please explain with simply how we can measure the rotation speed of an object using the Sagnac Interferometer ?
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44 views

What type of interferometry set up do I need to image a small structure at a distance?

Please forgive me, optics isn't my forte. I'm trying to work out how to image the surface structure of an object at a distance. Considerations are: Monochromatic light- it must be imaged in the ...
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143 views

Pattern in the Michelson Interferometer

I have a question about the Michelson Interferometer with spherical waves: I know that the pattern produced by this kind of waves is a pattern of concentric circles. But what I'm not sure is how the ...
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77 views

Can alimentary packaging film be used to make a Fabry-Perot interferometer?

An alimentary packaging film consists on a thin plastic layer. If we put two of this films one on the other, could this acts as a Fabry-Perot interferometer? (I don't have the appropriate material at ...
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374 views

Why does heterodyne laser Doppler vibrometry require a modulating frequency shift?

On the wikipedia article (and other texts such as Optical Inspections of Microsystems) for laser Doppler vibrometry, it states that a modulating frequency must be added such that the detector can ...
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72 views

Does a FTS work on the same principle as a michelson (amplitude division) interferometer?

As far as I can tell within an Fourier Transform Spectrometer the spectral information is gained from changing the path length along one arm, this sounds very similar to a michelson interferometer but ...
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SU(3) squeezing parameter

Spin squeezing is a strategy to improve the precision of quantum interferometry below the shot-noise limit. In order to quantify the amount of squeezing one can calculate the spin-squeezing parameter ...
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Role of BEC in atom interferometry

What is the major advantage of using Bose-Einstein condensate in atom interferometry compared with other sources of atoms? Detectors measure population difference in two arms of the interferometer. I ...
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59 views

Mach-Zehnder interferometry wave functions

Consider the set up below: I have read that in the apparatus the wavefunction is given by: $$|\psi \rangle=e^{i\theta}|c \rangle +i |b \rangle$$ where $\theta$ is the phase added by the phase ...
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Could laser speckle patterns be used in diagnosing vision defects?

At the London Science Museum some years back, I saw a device which projected a laser speckle pattern and had a sign explaining that it would appear stationary for people whose eyes were correctly ...