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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Teaching stellar interferometry with polymer optical fibers
Author(s): M. A. Illarramendi; L. Arregui; J. Zubia; R. Hueso; A. Sanchez-Lavega

Paper Abstract

In this manuscript we show the design of a simple experiment that reproduces the operation of the Michelson stellar interferometer by using step-index polymer optical fibers. The emission of stellar sources, single or binary stars, has been simulated by the laser light emerging from the output surface of the 2 meter-long polymer optical fiber. This light has an emission pattern that is similar to the emission pattern of stellar sources - circular, uniform, spatially incoherent, and quasi-monochromatic. Light coming from the fiber end faces passes through two identical pinholes located on a lid covering the objective of a small telescope, thus producing interference. Interference fringes have been acquired using a camera that is coupled to a telescope. The experiments have been carried out both outdoors in the daytime and indoors. By measuring the fringe visibilities, we have determined the size of our artificial stellar sources and the distance between them, when placing them at distances of 54 m from the telescope in the indoor measurements and of 75 m in the outdoor ones.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 August 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10452, 14th Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2017, 1045216 (16 August 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2266542
Show Author Affiliations
M. A. Illarramendi, Univ. of the Basque Country (Spain)
L. Arregui, Fundación Tekniker (Spain)
J. Zubia, Univ. of the Basque Country (Spain)
R. Hueso, Univ. of the Basque Country (Spain)
A. Sanchez-Lavega, Univ. of the Basque Country (Spain)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10452:
14th Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2017
Xu Liu; Xi-Cheng Zhang, Editor(s)

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