A quantitative autocalibrated high-resolution schlieren technique for quantitative measurement of reflective surface shape is proposed. It combines the schlieren principle with the phase-shifting technique that is generally used in interferometry. With an appropriate schlieren filter and appropriately tailored setup, some schlieren fringes are generated. After application of the phase-shift technique, the schlieren phase is calculated and converted into beam deviation values. Theoretical and experimental demonstrations are given. The technique is validated on a reference target, and then its application in a fluid physics experiment is demonstrated. These two examples show the potential of the phase-shifting schlieren technique that in some situations can become competitive with interferometry but with a much better dynamic range and with variable sensitivity. The technique can also be used to measure refractive-index gradients in transparent media.
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