Interferometer Experiment with Independent Local Oscillators

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Science  14 Jul 1967:
Vol. 157, Issue 3785, pp. 189-191
DOI: 10.1126/science.157.3785.189


We have operated an interferometer with independent local oscillators and without any communication link of wide bandwidth between the elements of the interferometer. This makes operation possible at very long base lines because, heretofore, construction of the communications link has been the factor limiting the separation of the elements. In our system, coherence at the two elements is maintained through the use of two highly stable, atomic oscillators. The intermediate-frequency output signals are recorded at each element on a high-speed digital tape recorder. Interference fringes are produced later by cross-correlating the two tape records in a digital computer.