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Optical Engineering

Replacing the optical-lever method with the method using the spot radius of a laser beam to determine the curvature of a material
Author(s): Jen-Hwan Tsai
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Paper Abstract

A laser beam is used to determine the radius of curvature of a material surface. For this, an equation relating the radius of curvature of a material surface to the curvature of a laser wavefront and the spot radius of a laser beam, and the optical path length, is first established. Then, by substituting the calculated radius of the wavefront curvature at the sample, the measured spot radius of the beam at the sample, and at the testing plane in the equation, the radius of curvature of the sample surface can be determined. Furthermore, the optical-lever method to determine the surface's curvature has practical application. A comparison between results obtained with the proposed and optical-lever methods is made. The two sets of values yield the radii of surface curvature that are in good agreement. But if the experimental layout, signal detection, and measuring capability are also compared, the proposed method is superior to the optical-lever method.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 2004
PDF: 5 pages
Opt. Eng. 43(3) doi: 10.1117/1.1641043
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 43, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Jen-Hwan Tsai, Chinese Air Force Academy (Taiwan)


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