The effects of various types of imperfections on the transmission characteristics of a Fabry-Perot interferometer have been investigated experimentally. It was found that for light from a laser source, incident normally on an interferometer whose plates have a reflectivity in the neighborhood of 90%, angular misalignments as small as λ/25 could seriously degrade the peak value and half-width of the transmission curve. When an electrooptic crystal was added to make the interferometer function as a modulator, a further deterioration of performance was observed. The results were compared with theoretically derived transmission functions and found to be in satisfactory agreement.
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