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  • interferometer

An instrument that employs the interference of lightwaves to measure the accuracy of optical surfaces; it can measure a length in terms of the length of a wave of light by using interference phenomena based on the wave characteristics of light. Interferometers are used extensively for testing optical elements during manufacture. Typical designs include the Michelson, Twyman-Green and Fizeau interferometers.

The basic interferometer components are a light source, a beamsplitter, a reference surface and a test surface. The beamsplitter creates the reference and test beams from a single light source.
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