8.13-14 | Fall 2016 | Undergraduate

Experimental Physics I & II "Junior Lab"


Michelson Interferometer


The objective of this experiment is to demonstrate the interference pattern obtained from combining coherent monochromatic light beams using a Michelson interferometer setup. You will ultimately derive the wavelength of the light source from your measured interference pattern.

Michelson interferometer and oscilloscope.

Lab Guide

Michelson Interferometer Lab Guide (PDF)


Abbott, B.P. et al., “LIGO: the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.” Rep. Prog. Phys. 72 076901 (2009).

Michelson, A.A. and E.W. Morley, “On the Relative Motion of the Earth and the Luminiferous Ether (PDF).” American Journal of Science 34, 333 (1887).

 Section 9.4 in Hecht, Eugene. Optics. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley, 1998. ISBN: 9780201838879.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2016
Learning Resource Types
co_present Instructor Insights