The interference signal formed by combining two coherent light beams carries information on the path difference between the beams. When the path difference is a periodic function of time, as, for example, when one beam is reflected from a vibrating surface and the other from a fixed surface, the interference signal is periodic with the same period as the vibrating surface. Bessel functions provide an elegant and efficient means for deconvoluting such periodic interference signals, thus making it possible to obtain the displacement of the moving surface with nanometer resolution. Here we describe the mathematical basis for the signal deconvolution and employ this technique to obtain the amplitude of miniature capillary waves on water as a test case.
© 2006 Optical Society of America
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