Supercontinuum laser illumination applied to traditional optical flow imaging methods

Matthew E. Staymates, Gary S. Settles, Kebin Shi, Zhiwen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-255
Number of pages4
JournalOptics Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2007

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


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