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Any of several optical, acoustic, or radio-frequency instruments that use interference phenomena between a reference wave and an experimental wave or between two parts of an experimental wave to determine wavelengths and wave velocities, measure very small distances and thicknesses, and calculate indices of refraction.

in′ter·fer′o·met′ric (-fîr′ə-mĕt′rĭk) adj.
in′ter·fer′o·met′ri·cal·ly adv.
in′ter·fe·rom′e·try n.


1. (General Physics) physics any acoustic, optical, or microwave instrument that uses interference patterns or fringes to make accurate measurements of wavelength, wave velocity, distance, etc
2. (Astronomy) astronomy a radio or optical array consisting of two or more telescopes separated by a known distance and connected so that the radiation from a source in space undergoes interference, enabling the source to be imaged or the position of the source to be accurately determined
interferometric adj
ˌinterˌferoˈmetrically adv
ˌinterferˈometry n


(ˌɪn tər fəˈrɒm ɪ tər)

1. a device that splits light into two or more beams, usu. by reflection, and then brings them together to produce interference, used to measure wavelength, index of refraction, and astronomical distances.
2. an optical instrument for measuring the angular separation of double stars or the diameter of giant stars by means of the interference phenomena of light they emit.
in`ter•fer`o•met′ric (-ˌfɪər əˈmɛ trɪk) adj.
in`ter•fer`o•met′ri•cal•ly, adv.
in`ter•fer•om′e•try, n.


an instrument that measures wavelengths, minute distances, or the refractivity of lenses by comparison of interference patterns generated by the splitting and reuniting of a beam of light passed through a lens. — interferometry, n.
See also: Instruments
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.interferometer - any measuring instrument that uses interference patterns to make accurate measurements of waves
measuring device, measuring instrument, measuring system - instrument that shows the extent or amount or quantity or degree of something
References in periodicals archive ?
02 Contract Notice: Phase Doppler Interferometer (PDI)
A specific version of the device known as a ring laser interferometer sends beams of light in opposing circular directions, creating a beat frequency rather than fringe shifts when they are combined.
The latest addition to the Verifire line of laser-interferometer and optical-testing products is configured with key capabilities that establish a robust, high-quality, and flexible laser interferometer with a low cost of ownership.
The researchers there had just achieved "first lock" (their version of "first light"), and I remember being impressed with the engineering feat required to create an interferometer on such a grand scale.
Imran Khan from Peshawar has been known to have worked with a team of scientists at Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) that recorded gravitational waves for the first time in history.
Cahill gives us a briefing on his view that interferometer measurements and one-way RF coaxial cable propagation-time measurements amount to a detection of the anisotropy in the speed of light.
It comes with a full white light interferometer for nondestructive measurement.
Radio interferometer hardware, receiving equipment, signal processing and more are covered in a technical survey of different types of interferometers, recent technical developments, and more.
The measuring system used is the laser interferometer (Reinshaw ML 10).
5cm-l resolution interferometer equipped with a choice of beamsplitters and detectors.
Therefore, laser AE method [1] has been developed to realize a direct AE measurement under such severe environments by non-contact detection of AE with laser interferometer [2, 3].
Outside the left-hand window was located a "Silvermann heliostat" that I used to steer the Sun into an optical interferometer arranged to produce three equally spaced white light fringes whose times of occurrence could be used to measure little g.