Lab 4 Comments F10 - Lab 4 Comments Michelson...

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1 Lab 4 Comments Michelson Interferometer (MI) Alignment of the MI is the key! Make sure to retro-reflect the laser beam. Use the two knobs on the back of the mirror mounts to do fine alignments. You must both retroreflect the beam and center the beam on the moveable mirror in the MI. Be very careful with the knobs on the stationary mirror in the MI. Very small changes can send the interference pattern off the screen! Take a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of your fringe data. This offers another way to find the fringe passage rate. Note that the laser has a limited longitudinal coherence length. Therefore, interference patterns are most easily seen when the two arms of the interferometer are of nearly equal length. Be careful not to leave the motor running and drive the translation stage to its limit!
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2 Extra spots appear from unwanted reflections Destructive interference occurs when the path length difference is an integer number of wavelengths: m d m cos 2 where m is an integer.
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