Wilmot 504, Fourier Optics
What happens in this laboratory?
This lab uses a highly coherent and stable Helium Neon laser light source which is further modified to achieve highly uniform spatial illumination. This specialized light source then passes through apertures with various patterns and spacing. The coherent waves of light recombine and interfere in unique ways on the far side of the apertures. This interference can be observed in diffraction patterns which are visible to the eye or can be imaged on a digital camera sensor. The phenomena which create these patterns are described by Fourier Optics and these patterns have important uses in industry and technology.
When do students use this lab?
Students use this lab in the spring of their second undergraduate year during the lab course OPT 202. The equipment and analysis used in this lab may be used in further optics experiments, Capstone projects and research. These topics are also further studied in advanced optics degrees.
The Institute of Optics
The Fourier Optics Lab is housed in the Institute of Optics, which offers BS degree programs accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Committee of ABET, as well as MS and PhD degrees in optics.
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