What is a Refractometer?
Now you will ask what is the meaning of index of refraction!
For those who don’t know under the study of refractometer should understand that :
Index of refraction is or refractive index of a material is a number without any dimensions that describes the method of light propagating through that medium. The refractive index determines the amount the light is refracted or bent while it enters a material.
The refractive index is calculated by a refractometer using the Snell’s law however for mixtures the index of refraction can easily be calculated from the composition of the material by the use of many mixing rules like Lorentz-Lorenz equation or Gladstone-dale relation.
Types of Refractometers:
- Traditional refractometers that are hand held
- Digital refractometers that are digital
- Laboratory refractormeters also called Abbe Refractometers
- Inline process refractometers.
- Rayliegh Refractometer that is typically used for measuring the refractive index of gases.
Uses of Refractometers for medical purpose:
- In Veterinary medicine – a refractometer also measures the total plasma protein in blood samples of humans and animals.
- In the diagnostics of drugs a refractometer measures the specific gravity of human urine.
You will be surprised to know the amount of uses a simple refractometer has and is used in a variety of ways across industries.
Read on to know Various Industries where refractometer is Widely used:
Refractometers are used in gemological laboratories. Gemstones are essentially transparent minerals – hence are easily examined by the use of optical methodology. One should understand that refractive index is a constant material – and is dependent on the substance’s chemical composition. Refractometer here is used to identify the gem materials that too by measuring their refractive index – that helps one determine the kind of gemstone it is. Certain gemstone for instance – sapphires, rubies, topaz and tourmalines are optically anistropic.
A gemstone refractometer is available both in classic optical instruments and also as electronic measurement devices that has a digital display.
In beekeeping – a refractometer is essentially used to measure what is amount of water in honey.
When one is home brewing – refractometer measures the specific gravity just before fermentation occurs in order to figure out the amount of fermentable sugars which will eventually get converted into alcohol.
In marine aquarium – refractometer is used to measure what is the salinity and gravity of water.
In the Automobile Industry – a refractometer is used to measure concentration of coolant and the Ph Value of the Coolant Oils that are used in the CNC Machining Process.
One cannot imagine life without a refractometer owing to its wide usage in almost all the key industries. Just by measuring one gets the reliable data required to monitor or test the various materials that a refractometer is used for.
In case you have ever used or seen a refractometer being used in a real life experience – do let us know –would love to share your experiences with our readers who are always asking for new