A simple closed-loop system for estimating optical phase, called an interference phase loop, is presented. In this system the output intensity from an elementary interferometric phase sensor (e.g., Zernike phase contrast, homodyne, heterodyne, polarization, or shearing interferometer) is detected and used to drive a phase modulator in the path of the wavefront being measured. It is shown theoretically and experimentally that with large gain this configuration ignores amplitude fluctuations and unambiguously estimates phase at high speed over a dynamic range of multiple-π radians. When self-interference (e.g., Zernike phase contrast) is employed, monochromatic light is not required.
© 1979 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article