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Photonics Dictionary: C

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campimeter -> eye test apparatus
Instruments used by ophthalmologists and optometrists to study the eye. There are, for instance, the ophthalmoscope to observe and photograph the retina; the retinoscope and optometer to determine...
campimetry -> perimetry
The analysis of retinal zones in which different hues can be detected. Also called campimetry.
camRAM
camera memory
CAMRSS
Center for Autonomous and Man-Controlled Robotics and Sensing Systems (NASA)
Canada balsam
A resin obtained from the balsam fir, Abies balsamea, used as a lens cement.
candela
SI unit of luminous intensity. It is defined as one sixtieth the normal intensity of one square centimeter of a blackbody at the solidification temperature of platinum. A point source of one candela...
candlepower
The luminous intensity of a source of light expressed in candelas.
candoluminescence
The luminescence of an incandescent material.
cantilever
A projecting beam or other structure supported only at one end.
capacitance
The ability of a conductor to store an electrical charge; its value is given in farads as the ratio of the stored charge on one conductor to the potential difference between it and a second conductor.
capacitor
A device that accumulates and stores electrical energy to introduce capacitance into a circuit. Basically, it is composed of two electrical conductors, separated by an insulating medium.
capnometer
An instrument incorporating an infrared detector assembly, used to analyze carbon dioxide gases and in medical applications to monitor air exchange in the lungs of patients on ventilators or under...
carbon arc
An electric discharge between two carbon rods that are touched together to start the arc and then separated slightly. The light comes from the heated carbon vapor. High-intensity arcs use cored...
carbon dioxide laser
A gas laser in which the energy-state transitions between vibrational and rotational states of CO2 molecules give emission at long IR, about 10 µm, wavelengths. The laser can maintain...
carbon film
In analysis, the carbon layer that is evaporation-deposited on a specimen to protect and ready it for study by electron microscopy.
carbonaceous
Consisting of, containing, pertaining to or yielding carbon.
carbonization
Carbonization is a process in which organic materials are heated in the absence of air, leading to the decomposition of the material and the production of carbon-rich residue. During carbonization,...
carcinotron -> backward-wave oscillator
An amplifying device with a wide tuning range in which an electron gun sends a beam of electrons into a slow-wave structure. The electron beam and the electromagnetic wave move in opposite directions...
card reader
A system that generally uses a photodetector to decode punched cards for information, or for input to a computer, by sensing the light transmitted through the punched holes.
cardinal points
Focal, nodal or principal points of a lens. If the respective distances of the object and image are measured from the cardinal points, all thin-lens equations are applicable to thick lenses.
cardioid condenser
An oil immersion condenser used to permit only light that has been diffracted or dispersed by a microscope specimen to enter the microscope. It is used in dark-field microscopy.
carrier
An analog signal capable of being modulated as to frequency, amplitude or phase to carry information.
carrier injection
Carrier injection refers to the process of introducing charge carriers (either electrons or holes) into a semiconductor material. Semiconductors are materials with electrical conductivity between...
carrier-to-noise ratio
The ratio of the power of the carrier wave to that of unwanted signal distortions, or noise, before any nonlinear signal processing such as detection or amplitude limiting.
CARS
coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering; coherent amplified Raman spectroscopy
cartesian
Of or pertaining to the methods of the French philosopher Rene Descartes. Refers to the standard orthogonal X-Y-Z coordinate system.
cartesian lens
A lens, one surface being a cartesian oval, that produces an aplanatic condition.
cascade amplification
In a series of amplifiers, amplification by each of the preceding output.
cascade image tube
An image tube that functions in low-light-level conditions by virtue of its series of stacked sections wherein the output of one section becomes the input for the next.
cascade method
A heterochromatic photometric process using successive comparison of similar chromaticities and the calculation of relative luminances of unlike chromaticities as the product of ratios of luminances...
cascade shower
A shower of cosmic rays whereby a high-energy electron produces one or more photons that convert into electron pairs, the secondary electrons producing the same effects as the primary. As the process...
cascade tube
An instrument consisting of a high-voltage vacuum tube used to form hard x-rays or high-speed ion beams. By partitioning the tube into separate sections, the total voltage is divided.
case hardening
A surface heat-treating process that produces a highly stressed surface. In case-hardening of glass, a plate of glass is heated almost to the softening point and then cooled quickly in a blast of...
case-hardened glass
Glass that has been treated by the case-hardening process.
Casimir force
The Casimir force is a quantum phenomenon that results in an attractive force between two closely spaced uncharged conductive surfaces. This force arises from the quantum vacuum fluctuations of the...
Cassegrain lens system
A two-mirror lens design used in astronomical telescopes, the primary being a parabola, the secondary a smaller hyperbola. The image formed is free of spherical aberration and color and is located...
cassette
A container designed to hold recording material (film, video- and audiotape) so that when it is loaded into a recording instrument, the recording material is threaded simultaneously.
CAT
clear air turbulence; catadioptric; computerized axial tomography
catacaustic
A caustic formed by reflection.
catadioptric imaging system
A system that uses both reflection and refraction to achieve its focal power. While the relative powers of the lenses and mirrors vary from system to system, the use of the reflective surfaces to...
cataphoretic effect
The attraction of particles suspended in a solution to a cathode, as a result of an electric field.
catastrophic optical damage
The darkening of the laser facet of a semiconductor laser diode. It can be prevented by placing the component in a hermetically sealed enclosure.
cathetometer
A type of comparator with a telescope equipped with a cross wire mounted on a vertical sliding column. It is used to measure vertical distances on fairly near objects.
cathode
1. The negative electrode of a device in an electrical circuit. 2. The positive electrode of a primary cell or storage battery. 3. The primary source of electrons in an electron tube, serving as the...
cathode coupling
In electronics, the coupling of power from stage to stage by the use of an input or output element in the cathode.
cathode dark space
The area of low-level luminance lying between the cathode and the negative glow in a glow-discharge, cold-cathode tube.
cathode emission -> cathode stream
Also known as cathode rays. Formerly, this term described a stream of electrons emitted from the cathode of a gas-discharge tube during its bombardment by positive ions. It also describes any stream...
cathode glow
The apparent luminosity or glow that immediately envelops the cathode in a gas-discharge tube operating at low pressures. The glow increases as the pressure decreases.
cathode modulation
The amplitude modulation through the application of modulating voltage to the cathode circuit.
cathode radiant sensitivity
Cathode radiant sensitivity refers to the ability of a photocathode to convert incident radiant energy, typically in the form of light, into an electrical signal. Photocathodes are components used in...

Photonics DictionaryC

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