1 Michelson Interferometer

Modern Physics

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PHY251 - Michelson-Morley PHY 251 Michelson Interferometer Introduction To better understand the interferometer used by Michelson and Morley, we use a simplified version of their instrument to measure the wavelength of the laser light source used. The second part of the experiment consists in measuring the index of refraction of air by counting fringe shifts in the interference pattern. In the interferometer pictured below, the light from a (nearly) monochromatic source is split into two beams which recombine to form a visible pattern of areas of constructive and destructive interference; i. e. bright and dark fringes. When the effective length of one of the optical paths is changed by some means, then any given point on the interference pattern shifts from light to dark or vice-versa for each half-wavelength of path length change. Instrument - top view Figure 1: Michelson Interferometer Interference pattern Figure 2: Interference Pattern Note: the actual interference pattern will most probably be more irregular and show less fringes. Alignment
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1 Michelson Interferometer - PHY251 - Michelson-Morley PHY...

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