Here be fringes

My first attempt at building a Bath Interferometer has been successful. It is amazing that a working interferometer can be constructed from a cube beam splitter, a small front surface mirror, a tiny lens, a laser pointer, some hot glue, an aluminum strap, and a small piece of balsa wood. All credit for the success belongs to the members of the Yahoo Tech Group interferometry.

Here is an interferogram of the telescope mirror that I have been working on:

Interferogram of 8 inch telescope mirror before figuring

And the resulting 3d image showing the shape:

3D surface showing error relative to a parabola

Finally, a contour chart showing the error in waves relative to a parabola:

Contour of surface relative to a parabola

What I do not know is whether or not I should correct the surface back to a sphere before attempting parabolization.

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