Abstract

A single spiral rotating through several cycles has been observed in the fringe pattern obtained from a common type of interferometer when laser illumination is used. Such an interference pattern would indicate the presence of a very unusual discontinuity in the wavefront or in the surface generating the wavefront. It is shown that such a pattern may be generated in several ways and may be explained in a relatively simple way. The implications of this behavior for data reduction from interferograms are commented upon. A simple demonstration of this effect is described.

© 1965 Optical Society of America

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Figures (9)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Spiral fringe formed with ground glass sample as object in one-lens interferometer.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Schematic diagram of the one-lens Twyman–Green interferometer. L1, converging lens; B1, cube beam splitter; O, object under study; L2, viewing lens; M1, folding mirror; P, film and viewing plane.

Fig. 3(a)
Fig. 3(a)

Circular fringes formed with central order background.

Fig. 3(b)
Fig. 3(b)

Spiral fringe formed with background of central and first order.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Schematic diagram of single-plate interferometer. L1, microscope objective, focal length 16 mm; P1, aluminum-coated glass plate; P2, film and viewing plane.

Fig. 5(a)
Fig. 5(a)

View of two sets of displaced fringes from single-plate interferometer.

Fig. 5(b)
Fig. 5(b)

View of almost perfectly overlapped sets of fringes forming spiral beat pattern.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Spiral pattern formed by interference of two ring interference patterns formed from a pair of coaxial lenses.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Straight-line interference fringes across the wavefront from a ground glass surface.

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