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Context. The interpretation of stellar pulsations in terms of internal structure depends on the knowledge of the fundamental stellar parameters. Long-base interferometers permit us to determine very accurate stellar radii, which are independent constraints for stellar models that help us to locate the star in the HR diagram. Aims. Using a direct interferometric determination of the angular diameter and advanced three-dimensional (3D) modeling, we derive the radius of the CoRoT target HD  49933 and reduce the global stellar parameter space compatible with seismic data. Methods. The VEGA/CHARA spectro-interferometer is used to measure the angular diameter of the star. A 3D radiative hydrodynamical simulation of the surface is performed to compute the limb darkening and derive a reliable diameter from visibility curves. The other fundamental stellar parameters (mass, age, and Teff) are found by fitting the large and small p-mode frequency separations using a stellar evolution model that includes microscopic diffusion. Results. We obtain a limb-darkened angular diameter of θLD = 0.445 ± 0.012 mas. With the Hipparcos parallax, we obtain a radius of R = 1.42 ± 0.04 Rȯ. The corresponding stellar evolution model that fits both large and small frequency separations has a mass of 1.20 ± 0.08 M ȯ and an age of 2.7 Gy. The atmospheric parameters are T eff = 6640 ± 100 K, log g = 4.21 ± 0.14, and [Fe/H] =-0.38. © 2011 ESO.

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Astronomy and Astrophysics