We describe a simple method for visualization of phase objects. The phase object is placed between a printed two-dimensional periodic pattern and a CCD camera. The ray deflection that is due to the phase object distorts the image of the pattern. This image is subtracted from a reference image and then, by squaring and low-pass filtering, a measurement of the two-dimensional refractive-index changes is obtained. Because the optical system does not require special alignment or illumination, the method presented has potential application for detection of gas leaks in industrial environments.
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