A new experimental procedure for determining the (second-order) coherence time of a light beam is described that is based on a combination of conventional interferometry with an intensity-correlation technique. It permits measurements of coherence times that are several orders of magnitude shorter than the resolving times of the detectors, which ordinarily limit correlation measurements. The validity of the method is demonstrated by an experiment in which the transverse fluorescent light from a dye laser is measured.
© 1989 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 16, 1988
Manuscript Accepted: September 6, 1988
Published: January 1, 1989
Z. Y. Ou, E. C. Gage, B. E. Magill, and L. Mandel, "Fourth-order interference technique for determining the coherence time of a light beam," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 6, 100-103 (1989)