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Spatial coherence and Young-Michelson interferometry

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Abstract: The intensity distribution at the exit of a Young-Michelson interferometer is analysed in Fourier domain. It shows that two numbers are necessary for describing properly the variation of the visibility of the interferogram fringes. One of them is the complex degree of spatial coherence, which describes the correlation between the contributions from the Young's slits. The second number describes the correlation between the Young's interferograms reflected by the mirrors of the Michelson interferometer, that is, the correlation of optical fields that contain another correlation term.

Keywords: Fourier transforms; Spatial coherence; Zernike's formula; correlation function

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Physics Department and Instrumentation Center, Universidad de Antioquia, A. A. 1226, Medellín, Colombia 2: Physics Department, Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Medellín, A. A. 3840, Medellín, Colombia

Publication date: 2001-06-01

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