The multi-pass solution for surface measurements with the help of a Shack-Hartmann sensor (SHS) on the basis of a Fizeau cavity enables fast access to surface deviation data due to the high speed of the SHS and easy referencing of the measured data through difference measurements. The multi-pass solution described in a previous publication [J. Schwider, Opt. Express 16, 362 (2008)], provides highly sensitive measurements of small displacements caused by thermal non-equilibrium states of the test set up. Here, we want to demonstrate how a pulsed thermal load changes the surface geometry. In addition the temporal response for different plate materials is monitored through a fast wave front measurement with very high sensitivity. The thermal load close to a delta-function in time will be applied from the back-side of a plane plate by heating a small Peltier element with a heat impulse of known order of magnitude. The development of the surface deviation on the time axis can be monitored by storing a set of successive deviation pictures.
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