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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 ?
The Verifire HDX laser interferometer system represents a significant advancement in the capability of laser interferometers to precisely measure high-quality optical components and systems.
Interferometers combine two or more sources of light to form an interference pattern that can reveal information about a studied phenomenon or object.
Interferometers of today, though complex devices operating at the limits of quantum mechanics and the atomic nature of matter, still allow us to measure such phase shifts of light in a way that can be verified simply.
Nevertheless, as pointed out, there are fringe-shifts measured in many interferometers and there is De Witte's propagation time delay (which is correlated to sidereal time).
Ideally, atoms within interferometers would be so cold and so slow that they would stray only a few centimeters over the course of a minute or two.
Radio Interferometry and Satellite Tracking provides a fine resource addressing the critical issue of space communications and satellites that are proliferating so much that they are causing overcrowded orbits - and it provides a fine understanding of radio interferometers for tracking and monitoring satellites in overcrowded conditions.
The biochip developed by engineers at Brown University uses plasmonic interferometers and could be used to measure a range of biological and environmental substances.
The 27 research papers in this collection focus on interferometers, devices used to separate a beam of light into two beams.
Abstract: Traceability of physical length to the SI unit of meter is realized by means of interferometry, and primary interferometers are used at the highest accuracy levels to perform calibration of national gauge block standards.
000 times faster than conventional interferometers and can measure surface shape discontinuities 15.
Contrary to traditional polarization interferometers, work is carried out in circularly polarized light.
The companies taking part are discovering new ways to apply the technology or new modifications that will enhance the future use of interferometers.