A simple step-by-step method is given for deriving the shapes of wavefronts from data obtained with a wavefront shearing interferometer. No mathematics, other than arithmetic, is used. The result is the accurate deviation of the wavefront from a reference sphere that coincides with it at three chosen reference points. The method is intended primarily for the use of opticians in optical workshops, but is also quite practical for the final testing of optics for performance rating. A method is given by which an optician can evaluate an optical surface by comparing the interferogram produced by it and a known prism interferometer, with a drawing of the desired interferogram. This procedure is analogous to using test plates for visual inspection of optical surfaces.
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