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Proceedings Paper

Normal incidence complex-index refractometry
Author(s): Robert D. Larrabee
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Paper Abstract

Traditional refractometry of bulk transmissive optical materials is usually restricted to the lossless case where the material can be completely characterized by a real index of refraction. This paper is concerned with the measurement of both the real and the imaginary parts of the index of refraction (i.e., including any loss) using a single prism-shaped specimen of homogeneous material. The normal-incidence configuration is analyzed and discussed in this paper because of its mathematical simplicity compared to the minimum-deviation configuration. The measurement of the imaginary part of the index of refraction (i.e., loss) is practical when the longest and shortest optical paths through the prism differ by an absorption length or more. The measurement of the real part of the index can ignore loss and still be accurate to better than one part per million if the power absorption length in the prism material is longer than 60 wavelengths in that material. An equation to determine the real part of the index of refraction is given when the loss must be taken into consideration.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 June 1993
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1848, 24th Annual Boulder Damage Symposium Proceedings -- Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 1992, (24 June 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.147444
Show Author Affiliations
Robert D. Larrabee, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1848:
24th Annual Boulder Damage Symposium Proceedings -- Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 1992
Harold E. Bennett; Lloyd L. Chase; Arthur H. Guenther; Brian Emerson Newnam; M. J. Soileau, Editor(s)

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