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Interferometry: Measuring with Light

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Long applied to optical shop testing, interferometry is now used to measure many different types of parts in a variety of applications, such as optical system performance, surface roughness, surface form, and displacement of moving surfaces.

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An interferometer is an instrument that compares the position or surface structure of two objects. The basic two-beam division of amplitude interferometer components consists of a light source, a beamsplitter, a reference surface, and a test surface (Figure 1). The beamsplitter creates the reference and test beams from a single light source. When the two beams recombine, the observed intensity varies depending on the amplitude and phase of these beams. Assuming the two beams are equal in intensity and are perfectly in phase at the point at which they are recombined, the resultant intensity is...Read full article

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    1. The additive process whereby the amplitudes of two or more overlapping waves are systematically attenuated and reinforced. 2. The process whereby a given wave is split into two or more waves by, for example, reflection and refraction of beamsplitters, and then possibly brought back together to form a single wave.
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    FeaturesinterferometersmetrologyLEDsnondestructive testingsurface measurementsurface structure analysislight sourcesbeamsplitterinterferenceTest & MeasurementMicroscopyinterferometryFizeau interferometer

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