1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Optics: Leveling Components

  1. Jul 23, 2009 #1
    I have a apparatus with a thin electrode that is suppose to be parallel with surface beneath it. I can level the surface, but you cannot put a level on this electrode.

    I was thinking have like a block precisely made to the expected distance between the electrode and bottom to determine the alignment, but I was thinking if I was not careful I could damage the electrode.

    Another thought, maybe use a laser level and calibrated to the level surface, then some how move it up to the elevation of the electrode to check its alignment. However, I have heard that even the levels used by contractors are not very precise and can be quite cumbersome in those applications.

    I was wondering if there is any specialized instrumentation and/or produces used in the laboratory setting. I figure those who work in optics have developed something, but I cannot find any information on the issue.

    I would prefer to get some direction/recommendation for literature and documentation.

    Thank You
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    To get it parallel you can either measure the distance electrode-substrate at each end
    Using something like this http://www.sensorland.com/HowPage056.html is fairly cheap and accurate to <1um and non-contact. Or you can use an old fashioned travelling microscope to do the same thing.

    Another apporach if your electrode is reflective enough is to shine a laser at each end (eg slide the unit under a fixed laser) and measure the distance apart the reflected spots appear on the ceiling. With a bit of trig and assumign the position of the laser is fixed you can work out the slope of the electrode.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook