Abstract

A general light-scattering spectrometer for measuring surface fluctuations is analyzed by using the methods of Fourier optics. Optical configurations can be designed so that the autocorrelation of the photocurrent is given by either the first- or the second-order correlation functions for the surface fluctuations. Fluctuations in capillary-wave amplitude and in surface density can be detected separately for a number of cases of practical interest. A method is proposed for unambiguous detection of capillary waves with amplitudes larger than the optical wavelength.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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