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PGRE | Michelson Interferometer Equation

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  1. Feb 27, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I am having trouble understanding how I would apply the Michelson Interferometer equation to a problem on the PGRE. Here is a link to a diagram displaying the interferometer as well as the equation which is very similar to the way the topic is shown in my REA pgre book.

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/phyopt/michel.html
    2. Relevant equations
    2d=mλ


    3. The attempt at a solution
    I just don't understand what the variable d is referring to. In the REA book, it says that if the fixed mirror on the right is moved through some distance d, then the number of circular fringes m moves in. And using the aforementioned equation, you can solve for the wavelength of the light. Can anyone explain how this works?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 27, 2012 #2

    Delphi51

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    Homework Helper

    d is the change in the distance L; it is how far the movable mirror moves.
    2d is the change in the path the light takes going to the movable mirror and back.
     
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