etalon

[eyt-l-on]
noun Optics.
  1. an interferometer consisting of two glass plates that reflect approximately half of each ray of light incident upon them and that are separated by a small, fixed distance: used to compare wavelengths and to study atomic spectra.

Origin of etalon

1900–05; < French; Middle French estalon standard, derivative of Old French estal place < Germanic; see stall1
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British Dictionary definitions for etalon

etalon

noun
  1. physics a device used in spectroscopy to measure wavelengths by interference effects produced by multiple reflections between parallel half-silvered glass or quartz plates

Word Origin for etalon

C20: French étalon a fixed standard of weights and measures, from Old French estalon; see also stallion
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