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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 46, Iss. 11 — Nov. 1, 1956
  • pp: 950–952

Polarized Beam Interferometer

B. S. BLAISSE  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 46, Issue 11, pp. 950-952 (1956)

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An interferometer is described in which the two interfering light beams follow the same geometrical path; they differ in their direction of polarization. The interferometer is used for the measurement of a difference in the optical path between the lengths of two etalons I and II, each bounded by reflecting or semireflecting surfaces. By using plane polarized light, in each etalon a quarter wavelength plate at 45° with the plane of polarization, and an analyzer in the 90° position, interference will result between a beam (12) reflected by the top semireflecting mirror of I and the opaque one at the bottom of II, and a beam (21) reflected by the bottom mirror of I and the top one of II. Beams of other combinations of reflections are extinguished.

B. S. BLAISSE, "Polarized Beam Interferometer," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 46, 950-952 (1956)

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  1. H. L. Fizeau, Ann. chim. et phys. (4) 2, 143 (1864); 7, 335 (1866).
  2. R. M. Buffington and W. M. Latimer, J. Am. Chem. Soc 48, 2305 (1926).
  3. J. B. Austin, Physics 3, 240 (1932).
  4. F. C. Nix and D. MacNair, Rev. Sci. Instr. 12, 66 (1941); Phys. Rev. 60, 597 (1941).
  5. Rubin, Altman, and Johnston, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 76, 5289 (1954).
  6. I thank Professor John Strong for drawing my attention to this fact.
  7. The "central" plane of each etalon is located practically midway between reflecting surfaces 1 and 2.
  8. In this case, a small correction must be applied because of the fact that the optical thickness of the quarter wave plate varies with temperature.

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