OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 28, Iss. 16 — Aug. 15, 1989
  • pp: 3339–3342

Absolute displacement measurements using modulation of the spectrum of white light in a Michelson interferometer

L. Montgomery Smith and Chris C. Dobson  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 28, Issue 16, pp. 3339-3342 (1989)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (477 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



A technique is presented for measuring small displacements by observing the frequency of spectral modulation of white light in a Michelson interferometer. An experiment is described in which the step size of a stepper-motor-driven translation stage was measured by recording the spectrum of light output from an interferometer and performing a cross-correlation calculation with theoretical spectra. Measurements made using standard laboratory-quality optical equipment were accurate to within ~10 nm for a range of over 100 μm.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: July 24, 1988
Published: August 15, 1989

L. Montgomery Smith and Chris C. Dobson, "Absolute displacement measurements using modulation of the spectrum of white light in a Michelson interferometer," Appl. Opt. 28, 3339-3342 (1989)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. C. H. Palmer, Optics Experiments and Demonstrations (Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, 1962), pp. 147–157.
  2. H. A. Deferrari, F. A. Andrews, “Laser Interferometric Technique for Measuring Small-Order Vibration Displacements,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 39, 979–980 (1966). [CrossRef]
  3. H. A. Deferrari, R-A. Darby, F. A. Andrews, “Vibrational Displacement and Mode-Shape Measurement by a Laser Interferometer,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 42, 982–990 (1967). [CrossRef]
  4. R. Keller, R. Salathé, T. Tschudi, C. Vourmard, “Michelson Interferometer for Detection of Fast Displacements of Less than a Quarter-Wave over Small Areas,” Appl. Opt. 14, 1616–1620 (1975). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. P. A. Flourney, R. W. McClure, G. Wyntjes, “White-Light Interferometric Thickness Gauge,” Appl. Opt. 11, 1907–1915 (1972). [CrossRef]
  6. J. W. Goodman, Statistical Optics (Wiley, New York, 1985), pp. 191–192.
  7. W. P. Alford, A. Gold, “Laboratory Measurements of the Velocity of Light,” Am. J. Phys. 56, 481–484 (1958). [CrossRef]
  8. J-C. Vienot, J-P. Goedgebuer, A. Lacourt, “Space and Time Variables in Optics and Holography: Recent Experimental Aspects,” Appl. Opt. 16, 454–461 (1977). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. M. Born, E. Wolf, Principles of Optics (Pergamon, New York, 1980), pp. 300–301.

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited