Michelson A. A. Light waves and their uses (1903)

Home   Download (PDF, DjVu)   <<<     Page 36   >>>


Light Waves and Their Uses

8 by a plane surface. The interferometer is now changed into the form illustrated in Fig. 33. It will now be noted that the source need no longer be a point or a slit, but may be a broad flame; and the object whose position is to

be measured is no longer a fine line or a slit, but a flat surface. The width of the fringes may be made as great as we please without any sacrifice in the brightness of the light. The corresponding increase in accuracy is from twenty to one hundred fold. We may conveniently restrict the term interferometer to this arrangement, in which the division and the union of the pencils of light are effected by a transparent plane parallel plate. It is important to note that the path of the two pen

cils after their separation by the first plate is entirely immaterial ; for example, either or both pencils may suffer any number of reflections or refractions before they are reunited by the second plate, without affecting in any essential point the efficiency of the interferometer, provided that the differ

Microscope, Telescope, Interferometer 37

ence in the path of the two pencils is not too great, and provided that the two pencils are reunited at a sufficiently small angle. By altering these conditions of reflection or