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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 56, Iss. 11 — Nov. 1, 1966
  • pp: 1517–1526

Optical Interferometry of Inhomogeneous Gases

WALTON L. HOWES and DONALD R. BUCHELE  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 56, Issue 11, pp. 1517-1526 (1966)

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A general theory relating continuous monotonic refractive-index inhomogeneities to the interference pattern produced by a Mach-Zehnder interferometer is specialized to a one-dimensional refractive-index distribution using power-series expansions for the refractive index and ray traces. The coefficients of the series are related to derivatives of the observed interference pattern. Practical interferogram-evaluation equations result that apply for any selected object plane and incorporate necessary corrections. Errors of the evaluation equations are discussed. The effect of misalignment, or lateral extension, of the light source is demonstrated. The phenomenon of, and conditions for, apparent ray-crossing are discussed. The effects of test-section windows are shown to be negligible. Other effects arising in practical applications are mentioned.

WALTON L. HOWES and DONALD R. BUCHELE, "Optical Interferometry of Inhomogeneous Gases," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 1517-1526 (1966)

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  1. R. B. Kennard, J. Res. Natl. Bur. Std. 8, 787 (1932).
  2. J. Winckler, Rev. Sci. Inst. 19, 307 (1948). (Contains references to early German work.)
  3. F. C. Jahoda, E. M. Little, W. E. Quinn, F. L. Ribe, and G. A. Sawyer, J. Appl. Phys. 35, 2351 (1964).
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  11. This fault appears to be mentioned first by F. J. Weinberg, Optics of Flamnes (Butterworth, Washington, 1963), p. 211 and more recently by R. A. Alpher and D. R. White, "Optical Interferometry" in Plasmna Diagnostic Techniques, R. H. Huddlestone and S. L. Leonard, Eds. (Academic Press, New York, 1965), Ch. 10, p. 431, although it was recognized much earlier. Improper configurations are depicted in F. A. Jenkins and H. E. White, Fundamentals of Optics, 3rd ed. (McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1957), p. 257; M. A. Heald and C. B. Wharton, Plasmna Diagnostics with Microwaves (John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1965), p. 369; R. L. Rowe, Instr. Soc. Am. Trans. 5, 44 (1966) and analyzed by G. D. Kahl and D. C. Mylin, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 55, 364 (1965). For a proper configuration see Fig. 1, or R. Ladenburg, "Physical Measurements in Gas Dynamics and Combustion," in High Speed Aerodynam)ics and Jet Propulsion (Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J., 1954), Vol. IX, p. 54.
  12. R. K. Luneburg, Mathematical Theory of Optics (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1964), pp. 24, 38.
  13. T. J. I'a. Bromwich, An Introduction to the Theory of Infinite Series (Macmillan and Co., London, 1942), Ch. 12, p. 317 or K. Knopp, Theory and Application of infinite Series (Hafner Publishing Co., New York), 2nd ed., Ch. 14, p. 518.
  14. This effect is in addition to that described by G. D. Kahl and F. D. Bennett, J. Appl. Phys. 23, 763 (1952).
  15. Alternative analyses are given in Refs. 5 and 6 and by G. D. Kahl and D. C. Mylin, Ref. 11.

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