In the past years, the Journal has published a number of articles1–5 devoted to the introduction of Fourier transform spectroscopy in the undergraduate labs. In most papers, the proposed experimental setup consists of a Michelson interferometer, a light source, a light detector, and a chart recorder. The student uses this setup to record an interferogram which is then Fourier transformed to obtain the spectrogram of the light source. Although attempts have been made to ease the task of performing the required Fourier transform,6 the use of computers and Cooley–Tukey’s fast Fourier transform (FFT) algorithm7 is by far the simplest method to use. However, to be able to use FFT, one has to get a number of samples of the interferogram, a tedious job which should be kept to a minimum. (AIP)

This content is only available via PDF.
AAPT members receive access to the American Journal of Physics and The Physics Teacher as a member benefit. To learn more about this member benefit and becoming an AAPT member, visit the Joining AAPT page.