Short Title

The Michelson Interferometer as a Device for Measuring the Wavelength of a Helium-Neon Laser


interferometer, interferometry, wavelength, laser

Subject Area

Physics, Laboratory

Type of Submission



Interferometry describes the technique of analyzing interference patterns of waves to obtain information about their properties. The Michelson Interferometer is an instrument of interferometry that studies the interference pattern of a divided and subsequently recombined light wave. In this experiment, a Michelson Interferometer was used to determine the wavelength of a 5-milliwatt Helium-Neon laser. The average wavelength of four trials was measured to be 635 ± 28 nanometers (nm), with a standard deviation of 10 nm. This is compared to a literature value of 632.8 nm.