Astrophysics (Index)About

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 spectrometer. Also, interferometry using a grating rather than a prism qualifies. Gravitational-wave detectors such as LIGO 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)
Further reading:

Referenced by pages:
angular resolution
Colossus Telescope
European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope (ESO VLT)
Keck Observatory
Large Binocular Telescope (LBT)
Lowell Observatory
Navy Precision Optical Interferometer (NPOI)
Palomar Observatory
Palomar Testbed Interferometer (PTI)