We describe a Fourier-transform spectrometer appropriate for use in an undergraduate optics laboratory. The modular design, which uses off-the-shelf equipment, is suitable for determining the spectra of ultrashort pulsed and continuous light sources. The spectrometer does not require equal step sizes for the motion of the mirror. An algorithm interpolates the phase of both a reference and an unknown light beam at equal intervals before performing the Fourier transform. The interferometer scan and the phase and spectral analysis are performed in a few seconds, making the apparatus a useful tool for teaching concepts of temporal coherence and Fourier spectroscopy.
(c) 2006 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in The Journal of Chemical Physics and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.2218358;