What is a Refractometer

The refractometer, what is for and why do we have it? What does it look like and what is the history behind it? Here is a quick run down on why we have refractometers, how it was born and what it looks like anyway. The name itself sounds like a heavy duty piece of equipment, but really, its not. In the early 1800’s a creator and inventor by the name of Erst Abbe came up with a blueprint for a specialty designed gadget to measure up an index of refraction, which is the rate at which light goes through any given surface, such as water and air, soil and the earth below it.

This would meter up the velocity at which light’s own angle would match up from one solid to another, from one gas to another, or any type of medium which reacts to light. This idea is actually profoundly interesting and Abbe decided to create a simple made one with the use of a thermometer attached to it. Also they had a small water bath device in the middle of it, which would grant the ways to measure light with water, one of the mediums used to measure the index of refraction.

There are many types of these refractometers ever since Erst Abbe came up with the logical idea. There are still the big refractometers such as Abbe and his clients have created, which are more meant for lab use and the study of geology. And then there are other types like the analog version, a more handheld device which is used for college students studying about earth science and how light affects it. There are also inline versions, these are also small devices with a long line or tube attached to it, which carries to the air and measures it up. Digital refractometers are also used in labs but are not as closely accurate as the original made by Abbe, which has been improved for our times.

These machines typical look like some kind of thermo scope you would see in a high school  classroom. They are blocky, big and have a scope at the top, with the digital numbers of the easements at its side. The small electronic ones are more square and have a joy stick device on its side for reaching through the air and measuring its substance. Refractometers are a great invention that help us study why air travels at the way it does.