Abstract

We present a method of measuring the refractive index of dry gases absolutely at 632.8nm wavelength using a Fabry–Perot cavity with an expanded uncertainty of <3×109 (coverage factor k=2). The main contribution to this uncertainty is how well vacuum-to-atmosphere compression effects (physical length variation) in the cavities can be corrected. This paper describes the technique and reports reference values for the refractive indices of nitrogen and argon gases at 100kPa and 20°C with an expanded uncertainty of <9×109 (coverage factor k=2), with the additional and larger part of this uncertainty coming from the pressure and temperature measurement.

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