A position sensitive detector (PSD) has been used to determine the diameter of cylindrical pins based on the shift in a laser beam's centroid. The centroid of the light beam is defined here as the weighted average of position by the local intensity. A shift can be observed in the centroid of an otherwise axially symmetric light beam, which is partially obstructed. Additionally, the maximum shift in the centroid is a unique function of the obstructing cylinder diameter. Thus to determine the cylinder diameter, one only needs to detect this maximum shift as the cylinder is swept across the beam.
© 2007 Optical Society of America
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