Abstract

The group refractive index of air in laboratory conditions is measured directly between adjacent femtosecond laser pulses by a new interferometry technique. Measurement of the repetition rate of the mode-locked pulse train that gives the maximum amplitude of the interference-signal envelope enables us to determine the group refractive index of air within a standard deviation of 2 × 10-7. This simple method without vacuum reference is attractive for measuring the group refractive index needed for precise distance measurements in open fields.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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