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(device detecting properties of electromagnetic waves by detecting interference between waves)

An interferometer is a device which combines electromagnetic waves in such manner that their interference can be detected and used to measure properties of waves. Numerous highly-different types of devices fit this description. In astronomy, aperture synthesis interferometers are used to produce very high angular resolution in measurements. Aperture synthesis interferometry has been used for radio telescopes since the 1950s and now enables angular resolution detection down to microarcseconds. It has been used for optical telescopes since the 1990s now enabling angular resolution detection down to milliarcseconds.

Among other types of interferometry used in astronomy, minute variations in the wavelength of spectral lines are measured across images, e.g., the Sun, to detect Doppler shifts due to relative radial velocity differences.

A Michelson interferometer is a specialized type used in gravitational wave-detectors and imaging Fourier transform spectroscopies.


Referenced by:
Astronomical Image Processing System (AIPS)
Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)
angular resolution
aperture synthesis
back end instrument
Large Altazimuth Telescope (BTA-6)
Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA)
Cosmic Anisotropy Telescope (CAT)
cosmic distance ladder
Dominion Observatory 10.03 MHz Source Catalog (DB)
Einstein Telescope
European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope (ESO VLT)
Fabry-Pérot interferometer (FPI)
front end instrument
Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT)
gravitational wave spectrum
imaging Fourier transform spectroscopy (IFTS)
Institut de radioastronomie millimétrique (IRAM)
Keck Observatory
Large Binocular Telescope (LBT)
Michelson interferometer
Badgerys Creek Interferometer 101MHz Survey (Mills)
Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA)
Northern Extended Millimeter Array (NOEMA)
optical interferometer
Plateau de Bure Interferometer (PdBI)
Palomar Testbed Interferometer (PTI)
Square Kilometre Array (SKA)
Third Cambridge Catalogue of Radio Sources (3C)
Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF)
Texas Survey of Radio Sources at 365 MHz (TXS)
Very Large Array (VLA)
Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA)
Very Small Array (VSA)