The design of a compact Fabry-Pérot interferometer (FPi) and results of the experimental studies carried out using the device are presented. Our FPi uses freestanding wire-grid polarizers (WGPs) as beamsplitters and is suitable for use at terahertz (THz) frequencies. The FPi was studied at the LUCX facility, KEK, Japan, and an 8 MeV linear electron accelerator was used to generate coherent Smith-Purcell radiation. The FPi was designed to be easy to align and reposition for experiments at linear accelerator facilities. All of the components used were required to have a flat or well understood frequency response in the THz range. The performance of the FPi with WGPs was compared to that of a Michelson interferometer and the FPi is seen to perform well. The effectiveness of the beamsplitters used in the FPi is also investigated. Measurements made with the FPi using WGPs, the preferred beamsplitters, are compared to measurements made with the FPi using silicon wafers as alternative beamsplitters. The FPi performs well with both types of beamsplitter in the frequency range used (0.3-0.5 THz). The successful measurements taken with the FPi demonstrate a compact and adaptable interferometer that is capable of analyzing THz radiation over a broad frequency range. The scheme is particularly well suited for polarization studies of THz radiation produced in an accelerator environment.
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