Interferometry in Microscopy

  • Theodore George Rochow
  • Eugene George Rochow


In this chapter we are concerned essentially with two whole microscopical beams (rather than individual rays) which are caused deliberately to interfere with each other. The graphic result is a pattern of interference fringes analogous to Newton’s rings.(1) With incident white light, the fringes are those of Newton’s series of color bands more or less superimposed on the pictorial image. Figure 10.1, for example, shows three different micrographs of the same surface area of crystalline grains.(2) All three micrographs were taken on the same simple microscopical interferometer shown schematically in Figure 10.2. Micrograph (a) in Figure 10.1 was taken with practically no tilting angle α to the reference surface (4 in Figure 10.2); hence there was practically no interference. Incidentally, the reference beam was sufficiently out of phase with the specimen’s beam to produce interference contrast. Thus interference microscopy is related to phase-amplitude contrast (Chapter 9).


Beam Splitter Interference Fringe Reference Beam Reference Surface American Optical 
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References for Chapter 10

  1. 1.
    E. M. Chamot and C. W. Mason, Handbook of Chemical Microscopy, Vol. 1, 3rd ed., John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, N. Y. 10016 (1958).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    W. Lang, Nomarski differential interference contrast, American Laboratory, pp. 45–46, 48, 50, 52 (April 1970).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    S. Tolansky, Multiple-Beam Interference Microscopy of Metals, Academic Press, New York, N. Y. 10003 (1970).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    P. Sullivan and B. Wunderlich, Interference Microscopy of High Polymers, Office of Naval Research, Technical Report No. 4, Contract Nonr-401 (44), Task No. NR 051–428, Cornell University, Department of Chemistry, Ithaca, N. Y. 14850 (1963).Google Scholar
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    R. B. McLaughlin, Accessories for the Light Microscope, Microscope Publications, Ltd., Chicago, Ill. 60616 (1975).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    ASTM designation E-210, Microscope objective thread, annual Index to ASTM Standards, American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    R. G. Scott, A few applications of the interference microscope to the study of fibrous materials (in German), Leitz Mitteilungen für Wisseschaft und Technik 5(5), 132–140, Wetzlar, Germany (März, 1971).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    N. H. Hartshome and A. Stuart, Crystals and the Polarising Microscope, 4th ed., Edward Arnold, Ltd., London, W.1. (1970).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theodore George Rochow
    • 1
  • Eugene George Rochow
    • 2
  1. 1.North Carolina State University at RaleighRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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