OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America B

Journal of the Optical Society of America B


  • Vol. 12, Iss. 9 — Sep. 1, 1995
  • pp: 1559–1563

Using interference in the frequency domain for precise determination of thickness and refractive indices of normal dispersive materials

V. Nirmal Kumar and D. Narayana Rao  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA B, Vol. 12, Issue 9, pp. 1559-1563 (1995)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (345 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We present an experimental demonstration of the spectral interference phenomenon, using a spectrally broad white-light source in a Michelson interferometer configuration. We also present a theoretical analysis of the spectral interference law for the general case of amplitude-division interferometers. When a dispersive medium is introduced into one of the arms of the interferometer, the spectral interference pattern changes drastically, with a change in the frequency modulation corresponding to the dispersive nature of the medium. A zero-order fringe appears at a wavelength where the net path difference between the two arms of the interferometer is zero. We relate the thickness of the dispersive medium to the width of the zero-order fringe. From the experimental data over the entire visible region of the spectrum we obtain the refractive index n(λ) and the thickness t of the dispersive medium, calculated to an accuracy of the order of 10−5.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

V. Nirmal Kumar and D. Narayana Rao, "Using interference in the frequency domain for precise determination of thickness and refractive indices of normal dispersive materials," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 12, 1559-1563 (1995)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. E. Wolf, "New theory of partial coherence in the space-frequency domain. I: Spectra and cross spectra of steady state sources," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 72, 343 (1982). [CrossRef]
  2. D. F. V. James and E. Wolf, "Some new aspects of Young's interference experiment," Phys. Lett. A 157, 6 (1991). [CrossRef]
  3. M. Santarsiero and F. Gori, "Spectral changes in a Young's interference pattern," Phys. Lett. A 167, 123 (1992). [CrossRef]
  4. X. Y. Zou, T. P. Grayson, and L. Mandel, "Observation of quantum interference effects in the frequency domain," Phys. Rev. Lett. 69, 3041 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. G. S. Agarwal, "Interference in complimentary spaces," Found. Phys. 25, 219 (1995). [CrossRef]
  6. L. Mandel and E. Wolf, "Spectral coherence and the concept of cross-spectral purity," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 66, 529 (1976). [CrossRef]
  7. K. Saxena, D. S. Mehta, H. C. Kandpal, J. S. Vaishya, and K. S. Joshi, "Experimental studies of field correlations using spectral interferometric technique," Opt. Commun. 111, 423 (1994). [CrossRef]
  8. D. N. Rao and V. N. Kumar, "Experimental demonstration of spectral modification in a Mach–Zehnder interferometer," J. Mod. Opt. 41, 1757 (1994). [CrossRef]
  9. D. F. V. James and E. Wolf, "Determination of field correlations from spectral measurements with application to synthetic aperture imaging," Radio Sci. 26, 1239 (1991). [CrossRef]
  10. E. Wolf, "Non-cosmological red shifts of spectral lines," Nature (London) 326, 363 (1987). [CrossRef]
  11. C. Sainz, J. Calatroni, and G. Tribillon, "Refractometry of liquid samples with spectrally resolved white light interferometry," Meas. Sci. Technol. 1, 356 (1990). [CrossRef]
  12. L. Guerrero, C. Sainz, H. Perrin, R. Castell, and J. Calatroni, "Refractive index distribution measurements by means of spectrally resolved white-light interferometry," Opt. Laser Technol. 24, 333 (1992). [CrossRef]
  13. X. D. Cao and D. D. Meyerhofer, "Frequency domain interferometer for the measurement of the polarization mode dispersion in single-mode optical fibers," Opt. Lett. 19, 1837 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. C. Sainz, P. Jourdain, R. Escalona, and J. Calatroni, "Real time interferometric measurements of dispersion curves," Opt. Commun. 110, 381 (1994). [CrossRef]
  15. M. Nieto Vesperinas and E. Wolf, "Generalized Stokes reciprocity relations for scattering from dielectric objects of arbitrary shapes," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 3, 2038 (1986). [CrossRef]
  16. V. N. Kumar and D. N. Rao, "Picosecond and sub picosecond relaxation studies in liquids using an incoherent nanosecond source," presented at the National Laser conference, Madras, India, 1993.

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 Fig. 5

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited