Abstract

The interpretation of fringes observed in photoelastic stress measurements made with coherent well-collimated optical radiation such as a laser beam and slab specimens with parallel surfaces is affected by multiple internal reflections of light within the sample, which are usually negligible when incoherent light is used. An analysis of the multiple-reflection effects in photoelastic measurements involving the plane polariscope configuration is presented. The results show that the isochromatic fringes are modified by the interference of multiply reflected waves. The multipass differential phase accumulations that display oscillatory magnitudes as functions of the model thickness and the optical wavelength result in a shifted and altered intensity profile across the isochromatic fringes. It is shown that for large values of reflectivity, as in the case of samples with reflective coating or partial mirrors, the bright fringes split into multiple peaks.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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