in·​ter·​fer·​om·​e·​ter | \ˌin-tər-fə-ˈrä-mə-tər, ˌin-tə-, -ˌfi-ˈrä-\

Definition of interferometer 

: an apparatus that utilizes the interference of waves (as of light) for precise determinations (as of distance or wavelength)

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Other Words from interferometer

interferometric \ˌin-​tər-​ˌfir-​ə-​ˈme-​trik, ˌin-​tə-​ \ adjective
interferometrically \ˌin-​tər-​ˌfir-​ə-​ˈme-​tri-​k(ə-​)lē, ˌin-​tə-​ \ adverb
interferometry \ˌin-​tər-​fə-​ˈrä-​mə-​trē, ˌin-​tə-​, -​ˌfi-​ˈrä-​ \ noun

Examples of interferometer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

So interferometers are spectacular displacement sensors. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Baby gravitational wave detector could find a home at the LHC," 3 Oct. 2018 The light wave that exits the interferometer in this case will be bright. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Baby gravitational wave detector could find a home at the LHC," 3 Oct. 2018 The difference between these systems and a time-of-flight lidar system is that the interferometers compare light that reflects from the object to light that travels a fixed distance. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Lidar system images bullet in flight," 30 Mar. 2018 Three meters of solid concrete form its foundation, and pneumatic isolators prevent any vibrations from affecting the precision laser interferometer. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The Deep Space Eye in the Desert," 14 Feb. 2018 The range of values is entirely contained within the error bars of a previous measurement made using an atom interferometer. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "A physical constant’s value shouldn’t depend on how you measure it," 13 Apr. 2018 Carrying an interferometer and other instruments, ICON will complement the GOLD mission by providing fine-scale detail measurements of the larger phenomena observed by the satellite in geostationary orbit. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA launches a mission to study Earth’s final frontier—the edge of space," 5 Jan. 2018 The Navy also operates an optical interferometer, which has a baseline of 300 meters. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The Most Detailed Image of Another Star Is Also a Preview of Our Sun's Dying Days," 1 Feb. 2018 If precise enough, an orbiting atom interferometer could have many scientific applications. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Coolest science ever headed to the space station," 7 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interferometer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of interferometer

1897, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for interferometer

International Scientific Vocabulary

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4 Dec 2018

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The first known use of interferometer was in 1897

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More Definitions for interferometer


in·​ter·​fer·​om·​e·​ter | \ˌint-ə(r)-fə-ˈräm-ət-ər, -ˌfir-ˈäm- \

Medical Definition of interferometer 

: an instrument that utilizes the interference of waves (as of light) for precise determination especially of wavelength, spectral fine structure, indices of refraction, and very small linear displacements

Other Words from interferometer

interferometric \-​ˌfir-​ə-​ˈme-​trik \ adjective
interferometrically \-​tri-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb
interferometry \-​fə-​ˈräm-​ə-​trē, -​ˌfir-​ˈäm-​ \ noun plural interferometries

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to make faulty or ineffective

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