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Michelson interferometer

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A description of the Michelson Interferometer and an example

Published in: Science
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Michelson interferometer

  1. 1. Phys 101-201 Calvin Kemm
  2. 2. Components : • monochromatic light source • beam splitter – splits beam into 2 beams of equal intensity • stationary and movable mirrors • knob adjustor source: http://scienceworl d.wolfram.com/ph ysics/MichelsonIn terferometer.html
  3. 3. HOW IT WORKS: 1. beam of monochromatic light is emitted toward a beam splitter 2. the beam splitter separates the incident beam into two separate beams of equal intensity 3. one beam is sent toward a stationary mirror and the other is sent to a moveable mirror 4. the incident beams are reflected and sent back toward the beam splitter 5. the beam splitter recombines the waves to produce an interference pattern 6. the interference pattern is projected onto a surface as a series of concentric rings of light and dark 7. as the mirror is moved the successive rings of light and dark change and can be counted (N)
  4. 4. BASIC CONCEPT: • for certain path lengths the waves are in phase when recombined and constructive interference occurs • moving the mirror changes the position at which the light constructively and destructively interferes • as the distance changes by a distance of ¼ wavelength the phase between the waves differs by 𝝅  destructive interference • this results in the project of rings to change from dark to light  which indicates a translation of the mirror a distance of λ/4 • the rings of interference ridges are marked so that cycles can be counted  we need to pay attention to the projection! Source: https://www.yout ube.com/watch? v=87pPoGuLSu w
  5. 5. MOVING FROM CONSTRUCTIVE TO DESTRUCTIVE INTERFERENCE Source: http://www.muelaner.com/laser-interferometers/
  6. 6. EXAMPLE: A light is emitted from a monchromatic source. As the mirror is adjusted by a distance of 0.265 mman observer counts 400 alterations between bright and dark. What is the wavelength?? λ= 𝟐𝒅 𝑵 where: λ is wavelength ; d is distance ; N is alteration # λ = 2 x (0.265 mm) 𝟒𝟎𝟎 λ= 1.29 um

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