Abstract

By suitable arrangement of a beam splitter and two plane mirrors, lateral-shearing interferometers may be built in which there is self-compensation for tilt. That is, the relative orientation of the two output wavefronts is insensitive to the exact mirror and beam-splitter orientations and to the direction of the input beam. The tilt compensation is analyzed, using the vector form of the law of reflection for the case of an interferometer in which the beam splitter and mirrors have a common normal, and also for an arrangement in which the two optical paths are in opposite directions around a triangle. In either case, the tilt between the output wavefronts is shown to be of the order of the square of a small angle.

© 1967 Optical Society of America

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