Light reflected by a nondielectric material experiences a phase change on
reflection that differs from light reflected by a dielectric material and other
nondielectric materials. The complex degree of coherence for small optical path
differences is derived for two-beam interference when the illumination source is
extended, incoherent, and quasimonochromatic. An analysis of the two-beam
interference pattern reveals a simple relationship between the phase of the
interference pattern at the point of maximum fringe visibility and the
material-dependent phase change on reflection.
© 1994 Optical Society of America
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