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An Interferometric Measurement of Index of Refraction


Shumate, Michael Stewart (1964) An Interferometric Measurement of Index of Refraction. Engineer's thesis, California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/RYZC-8410.


NOTE: Text or symbols not renderable in plain ASCII are indicated by [...]. Abstract is included in .pdf document. Of the several common methods for measurement of the index of refraction of solid optical materials, only one, the minimum deviation method, can conveniently be used for materials whose refractive index exceeds 1.8. The minimum deviation method requires that a large prism of the optical material be constructed; this is not always possible or feasible for some crystalline optical materials that are of current interest. A method for measurement of index of refraction is presented which requires a thin flat plate of the optical material and is unlimited in the range of refractive index it can cover. The method uses a two-beam interferometer to determine the optical path length through the flat plate by tipping away from normal incidence through a measured angle. It may be used in the visible portion of the spectrum directly, or extended to other spectral regions with the use of a suitable detector. The technique is shown to have an overall accuracy of [plus or minus] 2 x 10[superscript -4] in the refractive index. An error analysis is presented which shows that sample plates that have a small wedge angle may be used with only slight deterioration in the accuracy. The method is applied to the measurement of the principal indices of refraction of crystalline barium titanate at several wavelengths in the visible spectrum. An analysis of methods for using an interferometer to determine gradients of refractive index as well as refractive index dispersion is also presented.

Item Type:Thesis (Engineer's thesis)
Subject Keywords:(Electrical Engineering)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • George, Nicholas A.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:13 March 1964
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-10302002-153247
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4312
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:31 Oct 2002
Last Modified:29 Jan 2024 22:00

Thesis Files

PDF (Shumate_ms_1964.pdf) - Final Version
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