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Unformatted text preview: Daniel Jaskot
PHYS375, fall 2009
Section 0301 – Professor Anlage
111009 Lab 4
Michelson Interferometer Record of Experiment
 Actual notes from lab notebook shown on previous 4 pages. Data Analysis
Calibration with HeNe Laser
 Below is a plot of the data taken with the HeNe laser light injected into the Michelson
interferometer. Mirror 1 (M1) inside the Michelson interferometer is being translated at a
constant speed by a motor. These data are used to find the speed of M1 which will be
used in the Sodium Light section. HeNe Laser 10 voltage (V) 8
6
4 2
0
0  2 4
time (s) 6 8 To easily discern the frequency of the oscillations a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of the
data above was done using LoggerPro and is shown below. The frequency was taken to
be the data point with the highest amplitude (2.64 Hz), and the error in this was taken to
be the full width at half maximum of the peak (0.22 Hz). This is random error most likely
due to slight changes in the light that the laser is putting out. HeNe Laser FFT 1.4
1.2 amplitude 1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
0.2 0 20 40 frequency (Hz) This frequency of fringes (2.64+0.22 Hz) can be used to find the speed of M1. This is shown
below where is the speed of M1, is the frequency of fringes, and is the wavelength of the HeNe laser light. The speed of M1 is found to be 841 nm/s. The error in the frequency of fringes propagates to the speed of M1 as shown below. The error in
the wavelength of the laser is taken to be zero. The error in the speed of M1 was found to be 70
nm/s. In the lab handout, an estimation for the speed of M1 is given (found from the formula below).
This is used to check the plausibility of the answer achieved above (note that the answer found is
well within the error bar of the experimental answer found above). The answer found
experimentally is used in the Sodium section (not the answer below). Sodium Light
 Below is a plot of the data taken with the sodium light injected into the Michelson
interferometer. Mirror 1 (M1) inside the Michelson interferometer is being translated at
841 + 70 nm/s (as found in the Calibration section). There is a lot of information in this
plot. There is a fast oscillation (not visible in this plot but shown and discussed more
later), an envelope oscillation, and an overall decay in amplitude.  The period of the envelope oscillation was taken to be the average of the distances
between peaks for the first 4 peaks. This was found to be 343 seconds which gives a
frequency of venvelope = 2.915 mHz. The error in the determination of each peak was 6
seconds. The propagation of this error to the error in venvelope is direct since venvelope is an
average of the values with this error. The error in venvelope is 0.167 Hz (1/[6 seconds]).  An FFT of the above data is taken and shown in the plot below. The large spike
corresponds to the frequency of the fast oscillation in the data above. We will call it vfast,
and its significance will be discussed later. The error in vfast was taken to be the full width
at half maximum of the peak. vfast = 2.812 + 0.068 Hz.  The FFT can be trusted because there are enough data points to discern a sinusoidal
oscillation in each period. This is shown by the plot below which is just zooming in on
the original data at the indicated time interval. Sodium Light
2.6
2.55 voltage (V) 2.5
2.45
2.4
2.35
2.3
2.25
2.2
0  1 time (s) 2 3 Ignoring the overall decay in amplitude, the first graph in the section exhibits a beat
pattern. It therefore obeys the following equation.  Above we have solved for the frequency of the sine and cosine (envelope) on the right
hand side. These frequencies are venvelope and vfast respectively. This leads to the equations
below which are used to solve for f1 and f2.  Using these frequencies to get the wavelengths of light in the sodium doublet is straight
forward according to the following formula which uses the speed of the mirror M1 from
the Calibration section.  This gives values of 597.9 nm for  The error in venvelope, vfast, and the speed of M1 is propagated to 1 and 599.1 nm for 2.
1 and 2 as shown below.  The overall decay in amplitude in the first graph in this section gives the coherence
length of the sodium source which is not perfectly monochromatic. The time from the
maximum to the end of the plot (where there is not sinusoidal oscillation) can be used to
estimate the coherence length of the lamp as shown below.  This is a rough estimate because the uncertainty in when the plot is no longer sinusoidal
has such a large error (300s). This error and the error in the speed of M1 propagate to the
coherence length as shown below. Discussion of Results
Calibration with HeNe Laser
 The speed of M1 was found to be 841 + 70 nm/s. This agrees well with the value found
from the lab manual.
o The predominant source of error was the determination of the frequency of
fringes. To improve the accuracy of this calculation, this frequency should be
measured more accurately.
o An improvement for this experiment would be running a few different trials to see
if the FFT would return a sharper peak (less error in the frequency). Sodium Light
 The sodium doublet was found to be at 597.9+53.3 nm and 599.1+53.4 nm. The
predominant source of error was the determination of the speed of M1. This value should be
determined more accurately to improve the determination of the sodium doublet. o The actual values of the sodium doublet (589 nm and 589.6 nm) are within the error bars
of these calculations.  The coherence length of the sodium lamp was found to be 1.8+0.3 mm. The
predominant source of error was the time but not by much. This error and the error in the
speed were on the same order of magnitude. Either value could be determined more
accurately to improve the determination of the coherence length of the sodium lamp. ...
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This note was uploaded on 12/29/2011 for the course PHYSICS 375 taught by Professor Eno during the Spring '11 term at Maryland.
 Spring '11
 ENO
 Physics

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