An Introduction to Optical Stellar Interferometry by A. Labeyrie

By A. Labeyrie

Over the last twenty years, optical stellar interferometry has turn into an immense instrument in astronomical investigations requiring spatial answer well past that of conventional telescopes. This e-book, first released in 2006, was once the 1st to be written at the topic. The authors supply a longer advent discussing easy actual and atmospheric optics, which establishes the framework essential to current the information and perform of interferometry as utilized to the astronomical scene. They persist with with an outline of historic, operational and deliberate interferometric observatories, and a variety of significant astrophysical discoveries made with them. ultimately, they current a few as-yet untested rules for tools either at the floor and in area that can let us photo info of planetary structures past our personal.

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Huygens’ principle applied to gravitational lensing. (a) The distortion of the wavefront of a plane wave in the region of a massive body, causing a dimple on the axis, propagation of the dimpled wavefront, and the way in which multiple images result; (b) an example of the gravitationally distorted image of a quasar in the near infrared (courtesy of NASA). wave progresses through the focus of the central region, a cusp develops. 6). Gravitational lensing has become relevant to the extrasolar planet search (chapter 10), which is a major incentive for astronomical interferometry.

As a young man, Peter chose the study of math and physics over becoming a professional cello player but continued a life-long love of music. He was an avid Peter Nisenson, 1941–2004 xxxiii golf and tennis player and an active member of the Harvard College Observatory Tennis Club for years. Somewhat of a terror on the tennis court, he nevertheless delighted in encouraging others amongst his colleagues to join in the game, and the HCO Tennis Clinic has been named in his memory. Peter had been in poor health for the last year of his life, but throughout this time he stayed as active as his condition allowed him to be.

To illustrate speckle patterns with water waves, consider a group of crayfish, standing at the bottom of a water tank, vibrating their tails and causing wavelets at the surface. Two of them would cause a moving fringe pattern since the wavelets interfere, but their frequencies would not be identical. Many cause a speckle pattern, whose amplitude would be indicated at each point by the vertical motion of floating dust particles. It has “bright” speckles, where the water surface has unusually large vibration amplitude and “dark” speckles where it is stagnant.

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