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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 ?
Calibrator for 2D Grid Plate Using Imaging Coordinate Measuring Machine with Laser Interferometers, International Journal of Automation Technology, Vol.
The two separate laser interferometers measure the same moving mirror with a displacement of [[??].sub.1] and [[??].sub.2], respectively.
However, although interferometers have enabled us to make very small measurements that wouldn't have been possible using any other technique, they contain a source of error - one that is the product of an inherent imbalance in an exotic state of matter called the Bose-Einstein condensate.
Interferometers combine two or more sources of light to form an interference pattern that can reveal information about a studied phenomenon or object.
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).
Ultracold atoms should lead to increasingly sensitive interferometers, devices that can measure gravity and test the limits of quantum theory.
Buhl et al., "All-optical XOR and XNOR operations at 86.4 Gb/s using a pair of semiconductor optical amplifier mach-zehnder interferometers," Optics Express, vol.
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.
Handbook of interferometers; research, technology, and applications.
Lastly, the PhaseCam 4010-MW can acquire data at a single wavelength 5.000 times faster than conventional interferometers and can measure surface shape discontinuities 15.000 times larger than a typical single wavelength interferometer.