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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 47, Iss. 3 — Jan. 20, 2008
  • pp: 328–335

Differential schlieren-interferometry with a simple adjustable Wollaston-like prism

Matthew M. Biss, Gary S. Settles, Matthew E. Staymates, and Simon R. Sanderson  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 47, Issue 3, pp. 328-335 (2008)

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An adjustable Wollaston-like prism is characterized for use in shearing- and differential schlieren-interferometry with laser and white-light illumination. We demonstrate that a polycarbonate prism under mechanical loading behaves identically to Wollaston's classical birefringent beam splitter. A linear relationship is found between the pure bending moment applied to the polycarbonate prism and the resulting light-beam-divergence angle. The utility of this prism in shearing-interferometry is shown by using it in place of the knife-edge in small and large schlieren optical systems. It is inexpensive to fabricate, and it yields adjustable beam-divergence angles over a range of at least 0–24 arc min.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.4640) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical instruments
(120.5710) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Refraction
(230.1360) Optical devices : Beam splitters
(230.5480) Optical devices : Prisms

ToC Category:
Optical Devices

Original Manuscript: October 5, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: November 9, 2007
Published: January 14, 2008

Matthew M. Biss, Gary S. Settles, Matthew E. Staymates, and Simon R. Sanderson, "Differential schlieren-interferometry with a simple adjustable Wollaston-like prism," Appl. Opt. 47, 328-335 (2008)

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