Using grating shearing interferometry, a new and simple technique to measure the effective focal length of optical systems is described. The diffraction pattern of a phase grating positioned at the focal point of the lens under test is evaluated for this purpose. The relative lateral shift between the undiffracted zero order and the diffracted first orders caused by the grating is measured. By utilizing knowledge of the wavelength of light, the grating period, and the diameter of an aperture stop placed in front of the test lens, we can determine the effective focal length of the test lens. Results of measurements are presented and compared with calculated values. The dependence of the focal length on the wavelength of the light is shown by using two laser sources of different wavelengths. An analysis of the measurement accuracy is given.
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