Most people feel clueless when reading science books because they don’t find the information engaging and easy to read. After years of trying to get to the bottom of it, I’ve managed to develop my passion for this beautiful art and I want to share with you a little bit of my knowledge. Since I know how difficult it is to understand these complicated terms, I did my best to simplify the process and leave only the essential regarding the refractometer and its usages.
A refractometer is a useful but also simple tool used for measuring the extent to which light is either bent or retracted when moving through a certain type of substance. When light enters a liquid it automatically changes direction. This process is called refraction, hence the name of the refractometer.
The reason it provides accurate results is that light travels at different velocities, depending on the environment. The most important aspect is that it requires only a few drops of liquid and can be used as lab equipment for various industries such as food, agriculture, chemical industries, and manufacturing.
Even though refractometers are all the same, they do differ in terms of their optical part. Each model features a special scale where you can see the results instantly or you need to calculate the results based on the values measured by a versatile refractometer.
The refractometer is quite easy to handle and the measurements are taken rapidly. If you place a few drops of liquid on the prism and you press them without using force, the bubbles and the air are eliminated. Then, look through the eyepiece ad aim to the light. You’ll see a combination of a white and blue boundary which provides you the value of the measurement.
As far as their utility, refractometers are specially designed for a multitude of operations that include measuring liquids. Most of them use oils or water-based liquids, translucent solids, and gases. In agriculture, refractometers require the refractive light that passes through the plant sap in order to get nutrient levels.
Also, refractometers come in handy for providing drug diagnosis, for various operations in the veterinary medicine field, or got the upkeep of aquariums. Refractometers come in four main types, such as traditional handheld, digital handheld, laboratory, and inline process refractometers. Furthermore, automatic refractometers have been developed. These units are microprocessor-controlled electronic instruments that can be combined with other types of measuring devices.
There are tools that feature universal units on their scale. These are the refractometers for measuring the refractive index and the refractometer with Brix scale. One major advantage this type of refractometers has is that it allows you to measure any kind of liquid if you know how to convert the measured value to a known characteristic.