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Accurate interferometric retardance measurements

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Abstract

A two-polarization Michelson interferometer with a low-retardance beam splitter and digital signal processing is used to measure the retardance of optical devices. Error analysis of the improved optical system and data processing shows that the measurement has an uncertainty of 0.039° for measurements of nominally 90° retarders. Retardance variations arising from coherent reflections in the retarder used for intercomparison add an uncertainty of from 0.005° to 0.03°, increasing the combined measurement uncertainty to as much as 0.049°.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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