How do phase-shifting algorithms work?
What's it about?
Interference is an important phenomenon that plays a key role to understand the properties of light. However, novice students have difficulties with optical interference experiments because fringe-pattern processing algorithms are not a topic of the optics course. The difficulty increases taking into account that the phase shift is usually induced manually and advanced phase-shifting algorithms must be applied.
Why is it important?
In this paper, the fundamental principles behind seven well-established phase-shifting algorithms are presented. The operation of the algorithms is illustrated by a typical experiment on the Michelson interferometer. This work could be useful as an introductory lesson to the optics laboratory.