During the last two decades, optical stellar interferometry has become an important tool in astronomical investigations requiring spatial resolution well beyond that of traditional telescopes. This is the first book to be written on the subject. The authors provide an extended introduction discussing basic physical and atmospheric optics, which establishes the framework necessary to present the ideas and practice of interferometry as applied to the astronomical scene. They follow with an overview of historical, operational and planned interferometric observatories, and a selection of important astrophysical discoveries made with them. Finally, they present some as-yet untested ideas for instruments both on the ground and in space which may allow us to image details of planetary systems beyond our own.
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