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Simple, adjustable beam splitting element for differential interferometers based on photoelastic birefringence of a prismatic bar

Sanderson, S. R. (2005) Simple, adjustable beam splitting element for differential interferometers based on photoelastic birefringence of a prismatic bar. Review of Scientific Instruments, 76 (11). Art. No. 113703. ISSN 0034-6748. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:SANrsi05

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Abstract

We examine the prototypical Toepler optical arrangement for the visualization of phase objects and consider the effect of different contrast elements placed at the focus of the source. In particular, Wollaston prism beam splitting elements based on the crystallographic birefringence of calcite or quartz find application in differential interferometry systems based on the Toepler arrangement. The focus of the current article is a simple low cost alternative to the Wollaston prism that is realized by inserting a prismatic bar constructed of a photoelastic material into the optical path. It is shown that, under the action of an applied bending moment, the prismatic bar functions as a first-order approximation to a Wollaston prism. Results are derived for the divergence angle of the beam splitter for orthogonally polarized rays. The implementation of a practical device is discussed and representative experimental results are presented, taken from the field of shock wave visualization in supersonic flow.


Item Type:Article
Additional Information:©2005 American Institute of Physics (Received 6 June 2005; accepted 9 October 2005; published online 23 November 2005)
Subject Keywords:light interferometers; optical beam splitters; birefringence; photoelasticity; flow visualisation
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:SANrsi05
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:SANrsi05
Alternative URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2132271
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:6948
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:03 Jan 2007
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 09:27

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