A new, easily adjusted and very stable interferometer, defining a semistatic fringe field by reflection on two mirrors, has permitted a simple solution to the problem of rapid and accurate alignment of moving carriages, of fixed reference beams, and of carriage-ways in the interferometric domain. Precisions in the 0.1-sec-of-arc range are easily obtained in visual work in rotations up to minutes of arc, without the usual limitations of slow fringe counting and of loss of fringe-contrast at large path differences in particular. In fact, the fringe-contrast is independent of the distance from the reference-support to the moving mirrors in this interferometer, and permits measurements and alignments over traverses and distances of many feet if required. Precisions in the 0.01-sec-of-arc range and better can be obtained with the help of electronic location of interference fringes. Experiments with carriages moving at rates up to 1-foot/sec and over distances of the order of have demonstrated the versatility of the alignment interferometer in various applications, in particular in the alignment of ways on a velocity-of-light apparatus and on ruling engines.
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