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Interferometric Beginnings

  • Bruce Dorminey
Chapter

Abstract

In 1849, the same year that California pioneers were panning for one of the most “precious” metals a supernova can produce, Armand Fizeau, a little-known 30-year-old French physicist, was testing a cog-and-wheel-mirror contraption that was accurate enough to establish a “ballpark” estimate of the speed of light. Fizeau was clearly ahead of his time, for some 20 years after the California gold rush, he had already proposed a revolutionary way of making astronomical observations, one that is just now reaching full maturity. The young physicist proposed combining two beams of light to produce a barcode-like set of light and dark vertical fringes, which might enable astronomers to boost their telescopes’ resolving power without having to increase their diameter.

Keywords

Adaptive Optic Angular Diameter Tauri Star Adaptive Optic System Mount Wilson Observatory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. 1.
    Leverington, David 1995. A History of Astronomy: From 1890 to the Present. London: Springer-Verlag: 132.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    McAlister, Harold, astronomer and CHARA Director, Georgia State University at Atlanta. Interviewed on May 25, 1999, at Mount Wilson Observatory, California.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Westpfahl, Dave, astrophysicist, New Mexico Institure of Mining and Technology. Interviewed on May 26, 1999. at Dana Point California.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Akeson, Rachel, astronomer at Caltech, Pasadena, California. Interviewed on May 24, 1999, at Dana Point, California.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Linfield, Roger, astronomer at Caltech, Pasadena, California. Interviewed on May 24, 1999, at Dana Point, California.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Dorminey
    • 1
  1. 1.ParisFrance

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