interferometer(redirected from interferometers)
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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.
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
in•ter•fer•om•e•ter(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.
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