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Photonics Dictionary

American Astronomical Society
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) is a prominent professional association of astronomers and other scientists dedicated to the study of astronomy and related fields. Founded in 1899, the AAS...
American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a scientific society based in the United States that supports scientific inquiry in the field of chemistry. Founded in 1876 and chartered by the U.S. Congress,...
Amici objective
A form of high-power microscope objective.
Amici prism
Also known as roof prism. A type of prism designed by G.B. Amici. It consists of a roof edge produced upon the long reflecting face of a right-angle prism. Used as an erecting system in elbow and...
ammonia maser
An ammonia maser is a device that amplifies microwave radiation using ammonia gas molecules in a process analogous to how lasers amplify visible light through stimulated emission of radiation. The...
ammonia pellets
Charged frozen pellets that are rapidly bombarded with a focused high-power laser to form a dense plasma that can be heated and sustained with neutral beams.
AMOLED
active-matrix organic light-emitting diode
amorphous
The disordered, glassy solid state of a substance, as distinguished from the highly ordered crystalline solid state. Amorphous and crystalline phases of the same substance differ widely in optical...
amp
ampere
amphoteric materials
Substances that exhibit the characteristics of both acids and bases and are capable of both P- and N-type conductivity.
amplification -> gain
Also known as amplification. 1. The increase in a signal that is transmitted from one point to another through an amplifier. A material that exhibits gain rather than absorption, at certain...
amplified spontaneous emission
Broadband radiation emitted by a laser that does not transmit through the optical element. It can be removed by filtering.
amplifier
A device that enlarges and strengthens a signal's output without significantly distorting its original waveshape. There are amplifiers for acoustical, optical and electronic signals.
amplitude (light)
The magnitude of the electric vector of a wave of light. See electric vector; magnetic vector.
amplitude hologram
A hologram in which diffraction is produced by the silver image, resulting in a dimmer image than in a phase hologram, where diffraction takes place at the gelatin relief image left once the silver...
amplitude shift keying
In digital data transmission, the representation of a bit by change in amplitude of the outgoing signal. Amplitude shift keying (ASK) is less sensitive than phase-shift keying, but can tolerate...
amplitude-modulated sensor
A type of fiber optic sensor that detects alteration in position, distance, pressure, liquid level or temperature by transmitting light across a gap to a reflector; a change in the light returned to...
AMU
atomic mass unit
anaglyph
An image that can be studied three-dimensionally through a pair of complementary color filters composed of two superimposed views.
analog
A physical variable that is proportionally similar to another variable over a specified range. An analog recording contains data that is similar to the source.
analog adaptive resonance theory
Analog adaptive resonance theory (AART) is a neural network model within the broader framework of adaptive resonance theory (ART), which was introduced by Stephen Grossberg. ART is a cognitive and...
analog output
Information presented as a continuously variable relationship between a signal and a standard.
analog signal
A signal in the form of continuously variable voltage or current.
analog stroke
An analog method of moving a cathode-ray tube beam across a display screen face, commonly used in high-performance vector and character generators.
analog thermogram -> thermogram
Also known as analog thermogram. The resultant photograph, illustrating, in tones ranging from black to white, the spatial relationship of the infrared radiation temperatures of the different details...
analog-to-analog
Analog-to-analog (AA) refers to the process or system that involves the conversion or transmission of analog signals from one form to another, without converting them into digital signals at any...
analog-to-digital converter
A device that converts an analog signal, that is, a signal in the form of a continuously variable voltage or current, to a digital signal in the form of bits.
analog-to-digital
Analog-to-digital (A/D) is a process that converts continuous analog signals into discrete digital signals. This process coverts analog signals continuously, which vary smoothly over time, into a...
analytical photogrammetry
The use of mathematical analysis to derive solutions in the science of photogrammetry.
analytical photography
The use of photographs -- motion picture or still -- to establish if a particular event exists.
analytical phototriangulation
The use of photographs taken from specially placed cameras, to develop, through computation, a spatial solution of the photographed phenomenon.
analyzer
An optical device, such as a Nicol prism, capable of producing plane-polarized light, and used for detecting the effect of the object on plane-polarized light produced by the polarizer.
anamorphic
A term used to denote a difference in magnification along mutually perpendicular meridians. Anamorphic systems are basically image-distorting systems, such as those used in motion pictures, that...
anamorphic distortion
A type of distortion in which the magnification varies in different orientations, the directions of maximum and minimum magnification being orthogonal.
anamorphic lens
A lens, usually having one or more cylindrical surfaces, used to produce distorted images and later to restore them to true form.
anamorphic system
An optical system with different focal lengths or magnification levels in perpendicular planes to the optical axis.
anamorphoscope
A cylindrical convex viewing mirror used for viewing distorted pictures formed by photographing the reflections of the objects in a similar type of mirror.
anamorphosis
A state in which an image is distorted by an optical system.
anamorphote lens
A lens that distorts an optical image.
anastigmat
A compound lens combination whose astigmatic difference is zero for one or more off-axis zones in the image plane. In such a lens the other aberrations are sufficiently well-corrected to yield...
angle gauge
A glass or metal measurement tool having a precisely calibrated angle between two of its faces.
angle of convergence
An angle formed by the lines of sight of both eyes when focusing on an object. Also, the rate at which a ray approaches the optical axis.
angle of deflection
The angle through which a beam is deflected.
angle of deviation
The angle through which a ray of light is deviated by a refracting or reflecting surface, or a prism; the angle between an incident ray and the refracted or reflected ray.
angle of elevation
The angle between an instrument's line of sight and a reference horizontal plane.
angle of incidence
The angle formed between a ray of light striking a surface and the normal to that surface at the point of incidence.
angle of reflection
The angle formed between the normal to a surface and the reflected ray. This angle lies in a common plane with the angle of incidence and is equal to it.
angle of refraction
The angle formed between a refracted ray and the normal to the surface. This angle lies in a common plane with the angle of incidence. See also Snell's law of refraction.
angle-tracking system
A system in which a sequence of direct measurements of the target position is fed into a tracking filter that may produce refined estimates of past, present and future target positions.
Angstrom coefficient
The coefficient Å in Angstrom's formula for the dispersing coefficient for dust present in the atmosphere. The formula is expressed as S × Ål-B where l represents wavelength and B...

Photonics Dictionary

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