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Resources / Application Notes / Optomechanics / Optical Cage System Application: Michelson Interferometer
Optical Cage System Application: Michelson Interferometer
Edmund Optics Inc.

Optical Cage System Application: Michelson Interferometer

Michaelson Interferometer

What is a Michelson Interferometer?

A Michelson Interferometer is a simple interfermetric design involving a coherent light source, beamsplitter, and two mirrors. The design first splits the coherent source using the beamsplitter. The two beams then travel slightly different distances before reflecting off the mirrors and returning into the beamsplitter, where the two beams then recombine. If the difference between the two beams’ path lengths is less than the coherence length of the source, then interference fringes will be generated. Because the coherence length of a source can be extremely short, precision components and alignment are crucial, but often difficult to achieve.

Why TECHSPEC® Optical Cage System?

The TECHSPEC® Optical Cage System is an ideal solution for creating a Michelson Interferometer. Because the cage system rods support the basic structure, the only additional alignment needed is correcting the tip-tilt of the optics, and adjusting the difference in distance between the two mirrors and the beamsplitter. The TECHSPEC® Optical Cage System allows for the easy adjustment of all parameters, whether it is the use of a linear micrometer for adjusting the path length difference, or a three knob tip-tilt mount to align the mirrors. Building a similar interferometer from standard optical mounting components would be cumbersome and require significantly more parts. The TECHSPEC® Optical Cage System offers a compact, user friendly solution.

View Figure 1 for a simple animation of a Michelson Interferometer being assembled with TECHSPEC® Optical Cage System components. Use Table 1 to purchase the components shown in Figure 1. To make integration easy, download a complete SolidWorks® assembly of the Michelson Interferometer setup (ZIP 22.8MB).

Figure 1: Animation of Michelson Interferometer Setup

View Complete Assembly Instructions:

List of Components for Michelson Interferometer Setup
DescriptionStock No.Quantity
25mm 50R/50T Cube Beamsplitter #32-505 1
25/25.4mm Cube Beamsplitter Mount #85-688 1
25mm Standard Cage Plate with M6 for Post Mounting #85-632 4
Cage Sphere with (5) 30mm Port and (1) 43mm Port #85-624 1
30mm Square Interface Plate #85-737 1
Cage Support Rod 6mm Diameter x 100mm Length, M3 #85-488 14
Plano-Concave (PCV) Lens, 25mm Diameter x -25 FL, VIS 0° Coating #47-911 1
30mm Cage 25/25.4mm Diameter Lens Mount #85-587 1
30mm Standard Cage Plate with M6 for Post Mounting #85-630 4
Diode Beam Expander: Dovetail Adapter #58-275 1
Laser Diode Module 5mW 514nm #86-848 1
12V DC Power Supply #62-941 1
C-Mount Accessory Mount #56-869 1
30mm Cage Plate C-Mount Adapter #85-719 1
λ/10 Mirror, 30mm Diameter, Silver Coating #84-441 1
Fine Screw Kinematic 30mm Cage Mounting Plate #85-663 1
Cage Support Rod 6mm Diameter x 150mm Length, M3 #85-490 2
Nd:YAG Laser Line Mirror 25mm Dia. 532nm 0° #88-530 1
25.4mm Kinematic Mount #85-695 1
Stainless Steel Mounting Post, 50.8mm length, M6 Stud #59-759 2
Post Holder, 50.8mm Length, M6 Thread #58-972 2
Bench Plate, 300mm x 150mm #56-937 1
Micrometer-Anvil Assembly #85-618 1
Micrometer Head 13mm Travel #33-727 1

View Complete Assembly Instructions (PDF 910 KB)

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Follow step-by-step instructions for building a Michelson interferometer using TECHSPEC® Optical Cage System components. (PDF 910KB)

Add custom filtering and illumination to an infinity-corrected digital microscope system with optical cage system components.

Designed for modularity and flexibility and constructed of rods and plates, TECHSPEC® Optical Cage System components allow users to continuously modify a system's design by adding additional components.

Build your own customized system with rods, plates, or optical mounts for translation, positioning, angular mounting, or supporting multiple beam paths.

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