Michelson Interferometer

A modular mirror and beam-splitter system is used to set up and investigate the properties of an historically significant interferometer. Interference patterns are observed for three types of light sources: a laser, an incandescent lamp (white-light), and a sodium lamp. The yellow sodium D lines are used to illustrate the Fourier transform properties of the interferometer.

Experiment Information

  • Write-up
  • Thorne, A. P., Spectrophysics, 2nd ed., 1988, Chapter 7 (pp. 170-201); discusses Fabry-Perot and Michelson interferometry.
  • James, J. F., A Student's Guide to Fourier Transforms: with applications in physics and engineering, 2nd ed., 2002, Chapter 5 (pp. 76-85); discusses Michelson interferometry.