Michelson Interferometer IR Lab Question

In summary, the Michelson Interferometer is a device used to detect molecular vibrations. It is comprised of a fixed mirror, a beam splitter, a movable mirror, a source and a detector. The variation in the intensity of the beams passing to the detector and returning to the source as a function of the path difference yields the desired spectral information.
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I've been reading up on Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and the Michelson Interferometer. My main sources are "Principles of Instrumental Analysis" by Skoog etc and Fourier - Transform Infrared Spectrometry by Griffiths and Haseth.

I believe I understand the theoretical principles behind the Michelson Interferometer. We may obtain molecular vibrational data by exposing molecules to infrared radiation. Experimentally, FT-IRs use some sort of interferometer to obtain this vibrational data.

I get that the basic Michelson Interferometer is comprised of: a fixed mirror, a beam splitter, a movable mirror, a source and a detector. I understand that the variation in the intensity of the beams passing to the detector and returning to the source as a function of the path difference yields the desired spectral information.

My question: When you analyze some organic compound, what part of the Michelson Interferometer does it become? When you hit your sample with the radiation, does it take place of the Fixed Mirror? I guess that's what I don't understand. I haven't studied chemistry of physics in awhile so any clarification would be highly appreciated.
 
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  • #2
I don't remember details about how it works (so I can be off), but it is not that the substance becomes "a part" of the interferometer. Radiation goes through the interferometer first, and then through the sample, in a way interferometer is used just as a sophisticated radiation source.
 
  • #3
I wish I knew how to draw a diagram. Let me see if I understand what you're saying.

So the radiation goes through the interferometer first (as a reference), then the radiation goes through the sample. Do you then compare intensity values of the beam no sample to the intensity values of the beam with sample at various time intervals of the movable mirror?
 
  • #4
And the sample is hit with radiation and the radiation goes through the sample to which this radiation goes through the same Michelson Interferometer path?
 

1. What is a Michelson Interferometer IR Lab?

A Michelson Interferometer IR Lab is a scientific instrument used to measure the amount of infrared light absorbed by a sample. It consists of a beam splitter, two mirrors, and a detector. The sample is placed in one of the arms of the instrument and the other arm serves as a reference. The interference pattern created by the two beams of light is used to determine the absorption of the sample.

2. How does a Michelson Interferometer IR Lab work?

The Michelson Interferometer IR Lab works by splitting a beam of infrared light into two beams using a beam splitter. One beam is directed towards the sample and the other towards a reference mirror. The two beams are then recombined at the detector, creating an interference pattern. The pattern is analyzed to determine the amount of infrared light absorbed by the sample, which can provide information about its chemical composition.

3. What are the advantages of using a Michelson Interferometer IR Lab?

One advantage of using a Michelson Interferometer IR Lab is its high sensitivity, allowing for the detection of small amounts of infrared light absorption. It is also a non-destructive technique, meaning the sample is not altered during the measurement process. Additionally, it is a relatively simple and inexpensive instrument compared to other techniques used for infrared spectroscopy.

4. What types of samples can be analyzed using a Michelson Interferometer IR Lab?

A wide range of samples can be analyzed using a Michelson Interferometer IR Lab, including liquids, solids, and gases. It is commonly used in chemistry, biology, and environmental science research to analyze the chemical composition of samples.

5. How is a Michelson Interferometer IR Lab different from other types of infrared spectroscopy?

A Michelson Interferometer IR Lab differs from other types of infrared spectroscopy in the way it measures infrared light absorption. Unlike other techniques such as Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, which uses a single detector, a Michelson Interferometer IR Lab uses two detectors to create an interference pattern. This allows for higher sensitivity and easier data analysis.

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