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optical interferometer

(interferometer of visible light)

An optical interferometer is an interferometer for visible light, and/or nearby portions of the neighboring bands, infrared and ultraviolet. Use of them is called optical interferometry.

Some research-telescope optical instruments incorporate interferometry internally, e.g., a Michelson interferometer in an imaging Fourier transform spectroscope. Also, interferometry using a grating rather than a prism qualifies. Gravitational wave detectors such as LISA also incorporate them.

Optical interferometers analogous to radio and microwave interferometers and arrays, e.g., aperture synthesis, for measurements and images with a very fine angular resolution have been created. There are challenges in designing, building, and operating them, otherwise they would be in more common use. Examples:

(interferometry,visible light)

Referenced by:
angular resolution
Colossus Telescope
European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope (ESO VLT)
Keck Observatory
Large Binocular Telescope (LBT)
Palomar Testbed Interferometer (PTI)