We discuss the effects of imparting a temporal sinusoidal phase modulation to a continuous wave on the frequency spectrum. While a practical analytical solution to this problem already exists, we present here a physical interpretation based on interference processes. This simple model will help students better understand the origin of the oscillatory structure that can be observed in the resulting spectrum and that is characteristic of Bessel functions of the first kind. We illustrate our approach with an example from the field of optics.
Finot, C., Chaussard, F., & Boscolo, S. (2018). Impact of a temporal sinusoidal phase modulation on the optical spectrum. European Journal of Physics, 39(5), . https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6404/aad61c