A Fourier optics model of two-beam scanning laser interferometers

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The article illustrates the use of Fourier optics to describe the operation of two-beam scanning laser interferometers. It deals with the effect of diffraction on the spatial periodicity of a monochromatic and coherent beam. Particular attention is given to the analysis of systematic errors in high-accuracy laser metrology. The article reviews the special case of plane wave and Gaussian illuminations, examines how beam truncation affects the period of traveling fringes and presents a general relation between the relative wavelength deviation and the impulse standard deviation of the photons.