Michelson interferometer, two views

Michelson interferometer, two views

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Michelson interferometer. Two views (front, left; and side, right) of a Michelson parallel interferometer. This equipment uses mirrors (upper left and upper right) to split beams of light into two parallel paths. The beams are later recombined and the differences in the path length travelled and the interference patterns produced can be used in various calculations. Many interferometer designs were produced by US physicist Albert Abraham Michelson (1852-1931). His interferometers and those based on his designs, were used to test Einstein's theory of relativity, and to carry out measurements in astronomy and atmospheric sciences.

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