Abstract

We show, both analytically and experimentally, that under common experimental conditions the interference pattern produced in a classic Young’s double-slit experiment is indistinguishable from that generated by means of a doubly refracting uniaxial crystal whose optic axis makes a skew angle with the light propagation direction. The equivalence between diffraction and crystal optics interference experiments, taken for granted by Arago and Fresnel in their pioneering research on the interference of polarized light beams, is thus rigorously proven.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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