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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Reflective grating interferometer: a versatile and simple system for education in optics
Author(s): Sergio De Nicola; Pietro Ferraro; Andrea Finizio; Giovanni Pierattini

Paper Abstract

Recently has been developed a two component interferometer that has several advantages when used for eduction and training in optics. It is a wavefront division interferometer based on the use of a reflective grating that is used for recombination of two portion of one plane wavefront, obtained using a low cost parabolic mirror of commercial telescopes. The alignment operation is performed setting the mirror and the reflective grating at 90 degree each other. Interference fringe pattern are presented in all the volume in front the reflective grating interferometer and a screen or a CCD camera without lens can be used to visualize fringes. The interferometer being made of only two components is also very stable. Fringe pattern spacing and orientation can be simply changed rotating the mirror on a vertical axis or tilting it respectively. The fact that mirror and the grating are adjacent has some advantages on the pedagogical side because students can understand better how relative movements of the two components affect the changes in the fringe pattern. This interferometer is used not only to study interferometry but can be used also to study geometrical optics using the fringe pattern as a grid to perform Ronchi test. In such a way it is possible to conduct investigation on aberrations of optical components (Spherical, astigmatism and coma) or determine focal lengths lenses by using Moire effect. In conclusion the RGI is a system that comprises, at same time, in its operation different areas of the optics: interferometry, diffraction, wavefront picture of light, geometrical optics, testing. Examples of application for education purposes are described.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 December 1997
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3190, Fifth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics, (8 December 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.294371
Show Author Affiliations
Sergio De Nicola, Istituto di Cibernetica (Italy)
Pietro Ferraro, Istituto di Cibernetica (Italy) and Istituto Professionale di Stato per l'Industria e i'Ar (Italy)
Andrea Finizio, Istituto di Cibernetica (Italy)
Giovanni Pierattini, Istituto di Cibernetica (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3190:
Fifth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics
Christiaan H. F. Velzel, Editor(s)

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