A general treatment of the transfer function (TF) of spectroscopic systems is presented. The TF is expressed as a function of the delay time but not of the spatial frequency. Second, a new method for measuring the TF of spectroscopic systems with a sinusoidally modulated spectrum (SMS) is proposed, and the TF of a prism spectroscope is measured to verify the effectiveness of the method. As this new method is similar to methods of measuring the TF of ordinary imaging systems by using a spatial sine grating, the TF of spectroscopic systems is obtained from measurements of the contrast in the spectrogram of the SMS. This SMS is produced by means of a Michelson interferometer with white light. The period of the SMS can be varied by changing the path difference between two reflecting mirrors of the interferometer.
© 1981 Optical Society of America
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