Michelson interferometer, diagram

Michelson interferometer, diagram

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

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Caption: Michelson interferometer, diagram, with details provided at lower right. A beam of light (arrows) from a source (S, left) passes through a lens (L) and is split and then recombined by mirrors (square blocks; A, B, C, D) before reaching the observer (lower left). Differences in the path length travelled by the beams 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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