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Refractometer
Refractometer
Refractometer

Light bends as it passes through transparent substances. An Abbe refractometer can measure the specific degree of this displacement, called the index of refraction. Because various substances bend light to different degrees, scientists use a refractometer to determine, for example, the amount of protein present in blood or urine. Refractometry has been used extensively in product testing and drug development. This particular type of refractometer was named after Ernst Abbe (1840-1905), a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Jena. He later became the owner of the famous firm of Carl Zeiss, renowned for precision optical instruments. The piece shown in this exhibit is an American version of the original Zeiss model.

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