Eric Chong
PHYS C1493
Partner: Albert Lee
Lab Date: October 30, 2006
Experiment 6: Interferometer
Introduction
This lab experimented with two different methods of finding the wavelength of a light using the
simple basis of interference of two separate paths of light.
In general, the interferometers
employed the mechanism of splitting a beam of light and rearranging them according to different
lengths
d
m
such that by altering this length the two paths of light would coincide at various points
in their path (maxima, minima) and thus induce constructive or destructive interference.
The two
methods, namely the FabryPerot method and the Michelson method differed in their basic
setups however the premise of their setups encompassed the general method of being able to find
the wavelength,
λ
according to the equation:
2
m
d
m
λ
=
where
m
represents the number of fringes as we traverse along
d
m
for a given beam of light.
Sources of error and the relative precision in data of the two methods are discussed further in this
lab.
Procedure
FabryPerot Method
The basic setup of the FabryPerot interferometer consisted of a beam of light coming from one
direction to be split into many beam components by use of a mirrored cavity, reflecting those
separated beams at an adjustable distance
d
m
in
μm
using a movable mirror, and then finally
recombining the beam parts to form an interference pattern on a viewing screen at the end of the
system.
By altering the distance
d
m
between the initial
split and the reflection, we can view various phases of
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 Spring '08
 LAB
 Physics, Diffraction, Light, Wavelength, Michelson interferometer, viewing screen, FabryPerot interferometer

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