Abstract

We investigate the properties of a common type of two-beam interferometer in which the recombined beams are focused onto a detector and in which the optical system acting on the separated beams is composed of plane mirrors. For an arbitrarily complicated system of plane mirrors the behavior may be analyzed in terms of the four parameters path difference, angle of tilt, lateral shear, and angle of rotary shear. Fourier spectrometers vary only path difference, while shearing interferometers vary only lateral shear. We show that from measurements of the detected interference as a function of both lateral shear and path difference one may compute the optical transfer function of the output optics as a function of both optical and spatial frequency.

© 1978 Optical Society of America

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