Abstract

A general analysis and experimental validation of transmission wavefront shearing interferometry for photoelastic materials are presented. These interferometers applied to optically isotropic materials produce a single interference pattern related to one phase term, but when applied to photoelastic materials, they produce the sum of two different interference patterns with phase terms that are the sum and difference, respectively, of two stress-related phase terms. The two stress-related phase terms may be separated using phase shifting and polarization optics. These concepts are experimentally demonstrated using coherent gradient sensing in full field for a compressed polycarbonate plate with a V-shaped notch with good agreement with theoretical data. The analysis may be applied to any wavefront shearing interferometer by modifying parameters describing the wavefront shearing distance.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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