Recently reported experimental results on the rotation sensitivity of Lau fringes to the spatial coherence of the source have been theoretically analyzed and explained on the basis of coherence theory. A theoretical plot of the rotation angle required for the Lau fringes to vanish is obtained as a function of the coherence length of the illumination used in the Lau experiment. The theoretical results compare well with the experimental observations. The analysis as well as the experiment could form the basis for a simple and easy measurement of the coherence length of the illumination in a plane.
© 1990 Optical Society of America
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