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Instruction Manual and

Experiment Guide



Istanbul Technical University
Physics Engineering Department

with holder Lens. When two or more beams of light meet in space. The Fabry-Perot Interferometer The interferometer consists of two accurately flat glass plates. the change in the interference pattern is studied and the wavelength of the laser’s light determined. the electric and magnetic fields are determined as the vector sum of the fields of the separate beams. semi-silvered on their inner surfaces and mounted parallel to one another. a point at which there is a maximum at one instant may have a minimum at the next instant. The human eye 2 . Since there is no fixed relationship between the oscillations. That is. non polarizing Beam splitter T = 30. 1. 1. mounted. the oscillations of visible light are far faster than the human eye can apprehend. R = 70. However. Principle Two mirrors are assembled to form a Fabry-Perot interferometer. there is generally no fixed relationship between the electromagnetic oscillations in the beams. the multibeam interference of a laser’s light beam is investigated. because minute scratches can impair the clarity of the interference image. Equipment Optical base plate with rubber feet He-Ne-laser.Fabry-Perot Interferometer Introduction CAUTION: Avoid touching all optical surfaces on the interferometer. white. This type of instrument is therefore referred to as a “multiple beam interferometer” in contrast to the Michelson interferometer which is a twobeam interferometer. 5 mW with holder Power supply for laser head 5 mW Interferometer plate with precision drive Adjusting support 35×35 mm Surface mirror 30×30 mm Magnetic foot for optical base plate Holder for diaphragm/beam splitter Beam splitter 1/1. The Fabry-Perot interferometer is used for precision measurement of the wavelength of light and for investigation of the fine structure of a spectrum. Using them. If each beam of light originates from a separate source. At any instant in time there will be points in space where the fields add to produce a maximum field strength.1. at each point in space. 150×150 mm Theory of Operation Interference Theory A beam of light can be modeled as a wave of oscillating electric and magnetic fields. these fields add according to the principle of superposition. f = +20 mm Lensholder for optical base plate Screen. This arrangement is called an “etalon”. By moving one of the mirrors.

the Fabry-Pérot arrangement acts as an optical resonator which may result in an extremely high spectral resolving power ?/Δ? up to ∼ 107 for optical wavelengths ?. In contrast to other. Figure 1: Fabry-Perot Interferometer By slowly moving the mirror a measured distance d. the combined field will always be a maximum and a bright spot will be seen. if the wavelength of the light is known. At each reflection. In this case. At another point the light from the beams may be continually out of phase and a minima. and more widely spaced. more conventional types like the Michelson or Mach-Zehnder interferometer. As with the Michelson Interferometer. In this way. similar to the Michelson pattern. Figure 1 shows two rays of light entering such a cavity and reflecting back and forth inside. and counting n.Fabry-Perot Interferometer averages these results and perceives a uniform intensity of light. Thomas Young was one of the first to design a method for producing such an interference pattern. will be seen. brighter. At one point in space the light from the beams may be continually in phase. The result is a circular fringe pattern. The Fabry-Perot Interferometer The Fabry-Pérot interferometer was invented in 1897 by Charles Fabry and Alfred Pérot. the spacing of the slits could be determined from the interference patterns. the new fringe pattern is identical to the original. Since the transmitted rays are all split from a single incident ray. When first performed. or dark spot. as the movable mirror is moved toward or away from the fixed mirror. The sharpness of the Fabry-Perot fringes makes it a valuable tool in high-resolution spectrometry. state-of-the-art Fabry-Pérot cavities may exceed the resolution of classical diffraction gratings by a factor of ∼ 100 and provide an irreplaceable tool in particular for studies of the hyperfine structure in atomic spectra. they have a constant phase relationship (assuming a sufficiently coherent light source is used). narrow beam of light to fall on two narrow. a regular pattern of dark and bright bands appeared. the wavelength of the light (?) can be calculated as: 3 . the spacing of the maxima and minima can be used to determine the wavelength of the light. Opposite the slits he placed a viewing screen. part of the beam is transmitted. the fringe pattern shifts. The phase relationship between the transmitted rays depends on the angle at which each ray enters the cavity and on the distance between the two mirrors.s slits can be used as a simple interferometer. Young. Young.s experiment offered important evidence for the wave nature of light. but with fringes that are thinner. He allowed a single. When the mirror movement is equal to 1/2 of the wavelength of the light source. Conversely. the number of times the fringe pattern is restored to its original state. If the beams of light originate from the same source. If the spacing between the slits is known. there is generally some degree of correlation between the frequency and phase of the oscillations. closely spaced slits. Where the light from the two slits struck the screen. splitting each incident ray into a series of rays.

On the other hand.Fabry-Perot Interferometer ?= 2? ? (1) Setup and Procedure Figure 2 shows the experimental set-up to determine the wavelength and coherence length and time of a light source. These coordinates are only intended to be a rough guideline for making initial adjustments. The recommended setup height (beam path height) is 130 mm. Setup In the following.. by introducing specific changes in the beam path. an interferometer can be used in two ways. 2. information can be obtained about the light source that is being used. . place the fine-adjusting drive on auxiliary plate P onto the optical base plate in 4 . In general. Figure 2: Experimental set-up to determine the wavelength of a laser. If the characteristics of the light source are accurately known (wavelength. changes in the beam path can be introduced and the effects on the interference pattern can be analyzed..] refer to the coordinates on the optical base plate. the pairs of numbers in brackets [. polarization. Initially. 1. 3. intensity).. perform the adjustment work without the lens L[1... Before beginning with the adjustments.5]. Perform the experimental setup according to Fig.

5. The gap between the surfaces of M3 and BS1 should be approximately 3 mm. Place the beam splitter BS1 [7. Observe the interference patterns (fringes. 4. adjust the mirror M3 [8. circles) on the screen SC. adjust the bam splitter in such a manner that the reflected beam strikes approximately the same position on the screen as the beam reflected by mirror M3.3] which has a 70:30 ratio of reflection to transmission in to the beam path. 6. 7. accordance with Fig.4’] in the movable holder on plate P in a manner such that the reflected beam strikes the same point on mirror M2 from which it originated. When adjusting the beam path with the adjustable mirrors M1 [1. To do this.7] along the 5th x coordinate of the plate. Its metalized side faces mirror M3. 9. While doing so ensure that the coordinate lines on the auxiliary plate align as exactly as possible with those on the base plate. By placing lens L [1. the position of mirror M3 is altered with the aid of a lever arm (leverage circa 20:1) and a 5 . place the beam splitter BS2(50:50) with its metalized side facing mirror M3 in the beam path such that a partial beam strikes mirror M3 without being altered and the bam reflected by M3 is perpendicularlyincident to the screen SC [5. Next.3] at beam path height. In the process. align the beam along the 3rd y coordinate of the optical base plate. Figure 3: Experimental setup of a Fabry-Perot interferometer Determination of the wavelength of the laser light 1. Now. By meticulously readjusting mirror M3. the path length between mirror M3 and beam splitter BS1 must be chanced.3] = [5’. 8. 4.5] in the beam path.8] and M2 [1.Fabry-Perot Interferometer 3. the luminous points are expanded. Perform the fine adjustment with the adjusting screws on mirror M3. one obtains concentric circles. Initially without the two beams splitters BS1 and BS2.

Find the corresponding errors for wavelength of the light source. As a consequence of the alteration in the optical length. According the theory. 4. Whether the path length increases or decreases becomes apparent in that the centre becomes a source of maxima and minima for decreasing path length or a sink for the interference maxima and minima for increases path length. What effect does moving the mirrorsfarther apart have on the fringe patterns and stability? 2. a change from maximum to maximum occurs when the resenator length ? is chanced by ?/2 (for small angle ?). 5.8 nm).Fabry-Perot Interferometer 2. micrometer screw (2 turns correspond to 1 mm). measure the alteration of the distance between M3 and BS1 (by reading the initial and final values on the micrometer screw). (literature value: ? = 638. 3. ?. What is the advantage(s) of using a multiple –beam interferometer instead of an amplitude –splitting interferometer? 6 . as a result. To determine the wavelength of the laser light. a change in the centre of the circular interference fringes from maxima to minima and vice versa is observed.5 µm) Use the equation (1). ?. Questions: 1. (Each line on the rotating vernier scale of micrometer moves the mirror about 0. and count the number of changes from maximum to maximum. the length of the optical resonator is changed. 6.