in·​ter·​fer·​om·​e·​ter | \ ˌin-tər-fə-ˈrä-mə-tər How to pronounce interferometer (audio) , 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 How to pronounce interferometric (audio) , ˌin-​tə-​ \ adjective
interferometrically \ ˌin-​tər-​ˌfir-​ə-​ˈme-​tri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce interferometrically (audio) , ˌin-​tə-​ \ adverb
interferometry \ ˌin-​tər-​fə-​ˈrä-​mə-​trē How to pronounce interferometry (audio) , ˌin-​tə-​ , -​ˌfi-​ˈrä-​ \ noun

Examples of interferometer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The third detector is Virgo, an interferometer near Pisa, Italy, that has 3-kilometer-long arms and joined the hunt for gravitational waves in 2017. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "The universe teems with weird black holes, gravitational-wave hunters find," 28 Oct. 2020 New facilities, including the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the Virgo interferometer, are studying merging pairs of black holes by detecting their emissions of ripples in spacetime called gravitational waves. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "Black Hole Scientists Win Nobel Prize in Physics," 6 Oct. 2020 The term for a device that measures interference is, well, an interferometer. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "A Tabletop Device to Measure Gravitational Waves Is Game-Changing Stuff," 8 Sep. 2020 With the accompanying interferometer, the tool can illuminate details 25 times finer than individual telescopes. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "See the 'space butterfly' astronomers captured from thousands of light years away," 2 Aug. 2020 Among the recent enhancements is an atom interferometer, which can use the BECs to measure any changes in gravity on a planetary surface. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Chilling out: Physicists create exotic “fifth form of matter” on board the ISS," 15 June 2020 Collaborators from eight institutions have come together to turn an Illinois mine shaft into the world's largest atom interferometer—the Matter-wave Atomic Gradiometer Interferometric Sensor, or MAGIS-100. Charlie Wood, Scientific American, "New Instrument Will Stretch Atoms into Giant Waves," 18 Jan. 2020 So far, though, no such interferometers are up and running. Wired, "How America's Spooks Seek to Spy on Distant Satellites," 29 Aug. 2019 So, a team of researchers developed plans in the 1980s to build one of the largest and most sensitive interferometers in the world, Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "The Deep Space Decade: How a New Era of Exploration Came of Age in the 2010s," 31 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for interferometer

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The first known use of interferometer was in 1897

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Last Updated

9 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Interferometer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for interferometer


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

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 How to pronounce interferometric (audio) \ adjective
interferometrically \ -​tri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce interferometrically (audio) \ adverb
interferometry \ -​fə-​ˈräm-​ə-​trē, -​ˌfir-​ˈäm-​ How to pronounce interferometry (audio) \ noun, plural interferometries

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