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ABBE Refractometer

ABBE Refractometer

Abbe refractometer working principle is based on the critical angle. The sample is placed between two prisms - measuring and illuminating. Light enters the sample from the illuminated prism, refracts to a critical angle on the lower surface of the prism to be measured, and then the telescope is used to measure the boundary conditions between the bright and light regions. The telescope respects the image, so the dark field is at the bottom, even though we expect it to be in the upper part of the field of view. Knowing the angle and refractive index of the measuring prism, it is not difficult to calculate the refractive index of the sample.

The surface of the illuminated prism is matted, so that light enters the sample at all possible angles, including those nearly parallel to the surface. If you have seen our page on a critical angle refractometer, you already know that these rays are important for refractometer work.

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Other Details:

  • Abbe refractometers come in several variants, which differ in their details of manufacture. In the original design, the entire telescope was rotated around stationary samples and scales. In modern designs, the position of the telescope is fixed, whether the move is an additional mirror between the specimen and the telescope.
  • The AB refractometer can be used to measure the refractive index of both liquids and solids. In both cases, the refractive index of the substance must be lower than the refractive index used to measure the glasses.
  • Abbe refractometer can give an accuracy of about one to two units in the fourth decimal place.
  • Abbe refractometers come the entire telescope was rotated was rotated around stationary samples and scales