A novel interferometric method named statistical interferometry is proposed and studied. In the method, in contrast to the conventional deterministic interferometry, the complete randomness of the two interfering light fields, i.e., the random interference of the fully developed speckle fields, plays an essential role and is used as a standard of phase in a statistical sense. Preliminary experiments were conducted to verify the validity of the method, followed by a computer simulation. As an experimental result, the accuracy of the measurements of an out-of-plane displacement was confirmed up to by comparison with the heterodyne interferometer. The method has the advantage of simplicity of the optical system required, while at the same time providing high accuracy.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
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