The study of interferometry began in 1880 when Dr. Albert Michelson invented the interferometer. Unfortunately, Dr. Michelson didn’t have the rest of the necessary technology to fully develop the full potential of his invention, i.e. Fourier transform spectroscopy. Through the use of modern day computers, the field of Fourier transform spectroscopy has grown dramatically. Devices such as a scanning Fabry-Perot interferometer use a piezoelectric crystal to change the length of the confocal interferometer cavity, thereby changing the required wavelength of light that will resonate inside of this cavity. The predominant wavelength of light can thus be determined by inputting the entire spectrum. A scanning Michelson interferometer can be used to determine the absolute wavelength of light without having to make many manual adjustments. This lab focuses on the use of a normal Michelson interferometer to find the spectrum of a Helium Neon laser and that of a Sodium lamp via Fourier transform spectroscopy.

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