Abstract

We demonstrate the use of a mirror as a viewing diaphragm to generate a built-in diffracted reference beam in schlieren diffraction interferometry (SDI). The use of a mirror edge as a diffracting element instead of a conventional knife edge considerably enhances the contrast of the schlieren pattern, and it is shown to be equal to that of a phase knife edge. This increase in contrast is due to the fact that the otherwise unutilized diffracted beam in SDI is recombined in the described folding mirror geometry.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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