CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2019 Edition
| Editors: Sami Chatti, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart, Tullio Tolio


  • Christopher J EvansEmail author
Reference work entry



Interferometry is a process in which the superposition of two or more waves (beams) of sufficiently coherent electromagnetic radiation provides information about the waves and/or their differences.

Theory and Application

In modern manufacturing, interferometry is commonly encountered in:
  • Definition, realization, and dissemination of standards of length and form

  • Measurement of displacement for the control or calibration of production and measuring machines

  • Measurement of the surface form of optics and precision machined metal and other components

  • Measurement of surface texture

Before considering each of these areas in turn, the fundamentals of interferometry will be very briefly reviewed. Most applications of interferometry in manufacturing use “light” ranging from the UV to the infrared (i.e., wavelengths from ∼350 nm to 10.6 mm); in principle everything discussed here applies at any wavelength for which...

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Copyright information

© CIRP 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering and Engineering ScienceThe William States Lee College of Engineering, UNC CharlotteCharlotteUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • M Alkan Donmez
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 100 Bureau Drive - Stop 8220GaithersburgUSA