The schlieren method of refractive flow visualization traditionally requires non-coherent illumination in order to avoid problems with coherent artifact noise and binary cutoff by the knife-edge. Related shadowgraph and Wollaston-prism schlieren-interferometer methods, however, work well with light sources of high spatial coherence. Here we apply a supercontinuum laser as a light source for these methods, providing spatially coherent white-light illumination. Excellent results are obtained with shadowgraphy and schlieren-interferometry, but the schlieren method still requires a modified cutoff in place of the traditional knife-edge for laser illumination. Once they become widely available, supercontinuum lasers will find frequent use in these optical instruments, especially the schlieren-interferometer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering