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An instrument used to measure the index of refraction of a substance in any one of several ways, such as measurement of the refraction produced by a prism, measurement of the critical angle, observation of an interference pattern produced by passing light through the substance, and measurement of the substance's dielectric constant.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an instrument for measuring the refractive index of a substance. There exist types for solids, liquids, and gases. A distinction is made between laboratory and industrial refractometers. The principles of the operation of laboratory refractometers are discussed in the article REFRACTOMETRY. Such refractometers are used for analyses where the refractive index and the dispersion (the dependence of the refractive index on the wavelength of the radiation) of a substance are measured on a noncontinuous basis. Industrial refractometers are designed to record the dynamics of processes continuously and automatically. Refractometers can be incorporated into automatic process control systems.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.