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June 27 , 2008

Principles of Stellar Interferometry


The imaging process in stellar interferometers is explained starting from first principles on wave propagation and diffraction. Wave propagation through turbulence is described in detail using Kolmogorov statistics. The impact of turbulence on the imaging process is discussed both for single telescopes and for interferometers. Correction methods (adaptive optics and fringe tracking) are presented including wavefront sensing/fringe sensing methods and closed loop operation. Instrumental techniques like beam combination and visibility measurements (modulus and phase) as well as Nulling and heterodyne interferometry are described. The book closes with examples of observing programmes linking the theory with individual astrophysical programmes.

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