The Laser Interferometer at InfoAge


An Interferometer is an instrument that employs, in this case, a single source of electromagnetic radiation that is then split into two beams travelling different paths, then combined again to produce interference. The Interferometer being built at the InfoAge ISEC facility employs a Laser as its source.

Several properties of Electromagnetic Waves can be obtained from an Interferometer, such as measuring the:
1) wavelength of the electromagnetic waves from the source;
2) speed of the electromagnetic waves travelling through various media.
Knowing the wavelength and the speed of the electromagnetic waves, the source’s frequency can be calculated.

The interferometer can also be called a homodyne, which signifies the use of a single frequency being transmitted and received. By modulating one path of the electromagnetic radiation, and creating motion about that path, the Doppler Shift of that radiation can be detected.

The Interferometer can also be used to measure very small changes in length with nanometer precision.

A Speckle Interferometer can be used for covert listening at a distance. Such a device was patented by Vincent Rosati of the Electronic Technology and Devices Laboratory (ET&DL), USACECOM, Fort Monmouth, NJ, and was employed successfully during the “cold war era”.

An Interferometer that employs a radiation source capable of producing two or more coherent outputs at different wavelengths can be used to demonstrate Heterodyne detection of electromagnetic waves.

The Laser Interferometer under construction at InfoAge, will be constructed in phases that address, display, and provide hands on learning for all of the above criteria.

The InfoAge Laser Interferometer is a significant enhancement to ISEC because it will provide visitors with a clear understanding of the principles used by Michelson – Morley, Marconi, Armstrong, Project Diana, ET&DL and Deal Test Site that furthered scientific advancement.

As an added bonus, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) experiment that used a more sophisticated version of a Michelson Interferometer to detect Gravitational Waves in 2017 will be explained.