Definition of heterodyne in English:

heterodyne

adjective

Electronics
  • Relating to the production of a lower frequency from the combination of two almost equal high frequencies, as used in radio transmission.

    ‘a heterodyne interferometer’
    • ‘The system achieves this by measuring the target velocity of the cylinder carrier from optical phase shift, using an optical heterodyne interferometer to exploit the temporal, rather than spatial, coherence of the laser.’
    • ‘In heterodyne SLDV, a scanned laser beam incident on the vibrating test surface undergoes a Doppler radial frequency shift proportional to the instantaneous velocity.’
    • ‘This causes the heterodyne beat intensity to oscillate at the corresponding Dopplershifted frequency.’
    • ‘In the finished models of the theremin, volume levels were controlled by means of a comparable heterodyne effect triggered by the player's other hand.’
    • ‘We can modulate the detector at the same frequency as the excitation for homodyne detection - or at a slightly different frequency for heterodyne detection.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]Electronics
  • Combine (a high-frequency signal) with another to produce a lower frequency in this way.

    ‘heterodyning converts incoming reference and test signals to 45 Mhz’
    • ‘When blue and green colored light are mixed, a cyan colored light can be produced by heterodyning.’
    • ‘When the two frequencies were mixed, or heterodyned, the difference between them resulted in a third frequency; it was this so-called ‘difference tone’ that was amplified and channeled to a loudspeaker.’
    • ‘Due to spatial frequency heterodyning, upper and lower side band information falls in the pass band of the imager.’
    • ‘This mixer heterodynes the IF against the VFO to produce a signal at 455 kc.’
    • ‘This intermodulation creates an effect called heterodyning, where additive and subtractive tones, known as beat frequencies, are created.’

Origin

Early 20th century: from hetero- other + -dyne, suffix formed irregularly from Greek dunamis power.

Pronunciation:

heterodyne

/ˈhɛt(ə)rə(ʊ)dʌɪn/