Michelson Interferometer and Haidinger Fringes

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The Michelson interferometer contains two perpendicular plane mirrors, which reflect monochromatic light into a beam splitter (a half-silvered mirror). The two reflected rays are then combined through an imaging lens to produce an interference pattern (Haidinger fringes) on a screen.


You can select the wavelength of the light, the focal length of the lens, and the position of the mobile mirror; 0 means that the distances of the two arms of the interferometer are equal, so that there are no interference fringes.


Contributed by: Bruno Bousquet (March 2016)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



The snapshots of three interference patterns were obtained for three sets of wavelengths, the position of the mobile mirror, and the focal length of the imaging lens:

Snapshot 1: 450 nm, -0.25 mm, 20 cm

Snapshot 2: 550 nm, 0.2 mm, 40 cm

Snapshot 3: 650 nm, 0.3 mm, 30 cm


[1] Wikipedia. "Michelson Interferometer." (Mar 11, 2016) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson_interferometer.

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