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Photonics Dictionary: M

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m
meter;mass;milli- m is the standard unit symbol for length in the International System of Units (SI). 1 meter is equivalent to 3.28 feet. m is also the standard symbol for mass; m is also the standard SI metric unit prefix milli- which represents one thousandth i.e. 10-3, of a given unit.
M
mega;magnification -SI metric unit prefix which represents one million, 106, also the standard symbol for the magnification of a given optical system.
mA
milliampere (or milliamp in English) which represents one thousandth, i.e. 10-3, of the SI unit for electric current that is the ampere (also commonly referred to as amp).
Mach bands
The illusory appearance of a light or dark band at a line of brightness contrast that enhances the edge between the two contrasting regions. This effect can create the appearance of graduated...
Mach-Zehnder interferometer
A Mach-Zehnder interferometer is an optical device used to measure the phase difference between two collimated beams of light. It is named after the physicists Ludwig Mach and Ludwig Zehnder, who...
machine learning
Machine learning (ML) is a subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that focuses on the development of algorithms and statistical models that enable computers to improve their performance on a specific...
machine vision lens
A machine vision lens is a specialized optical lens designed for use in machine vision systems, which are used for automated inspection, measurement, and quality control in industrial applications....
machine vision lighting
Machine vision lighting refers to the use of specific lighting techniques and equipment in the field of machine vision, which is a technology that enables machines to capture and interpret visual...
machine vision system
A machine vision system is an integrated combination of hardware and software components designed to capture, process, and analyze images to perform automated inspection, measurement, and quality...
machine vision
Machine vision, also known as computer vision or computer sight, refers to the technology that enables machines, typically computers, to interpret and understand visual information from the world,...
macro lens
A camera lens, used in macrophotography, that is designed and corrected to produce optimum definition of a nearby object when it is photographed at a magnification of approximately1:1.
macrobend loss
In an optical waveguide, that loss attributable to macrobending. Macrobending usually causes little or no radiative loss.
macrobending
In optical fiber, bends that are larger than microbends (see microbending), being visible. Generally they are caused by bending the cable beyond the specified bend radius. Light escaping at the bends...
macrophotograph
The photographic recordformed in macrophotography in which the size of the small nearby object at theimage plane is the same size or greater than the actual life size of theobject.
macrophotography
the photography of very close, and typically small objects with a magnification of approximately 1:1
macroscopic
Sizable enough to be perceived by the unaided eye.
macula lutea
The small central portion of the human retina that is responsible for providing the clearest, and most distinct aspects of human vision. Light from an object directly forms an image on the macula...
Maddox rod
Lenslike composition of stacked glass cylinders through which a spot of light appears as a streak perpendicular to the cylinder's axes in attempt to measure heterophoria in the human eye.
magenta
The reddish/purple color that results when equal amounts of blue and red are combined so that no one wavelength dominates.
magnesium fluoride
A colorless, crystalline compound whose low refractive index (n = 1.38) makes it effective as a lens antireflection coating when deposited by thermal evaporation in a near vacuum. This process...
magnetic bremsstrahlung -> synchrotron radiation
Radiation emitted by electrons when they travel in circular orbits at speeds close to that of light. Synchrotron radiation occurs in the x-ray and ultraviolet regions of the spectrum. Once considered...
magnetic bubble film
An amorphous film in which cylindrical bubbles of reverse magnetization can be formed to follow circuit paths usually made by depositing magnetic metal strips on the film surface. It is used in...
magnetic disc
A plastic disc coated with ferric oxide or other films on which data can be stored by selectively magnetizing areas of the surface.
magnetic enhancement
Plasma-enriched deposition or planar magnetic sputtering that offers increased deposition rates in optical thin-film production. This technology surpasses conventional and RF sputtering.
magnetic fluid
A fluid having three components: a carrier fluid, magnetite particles suspended by Brownian motion and a stabilizer to prevent agglomeration of these fine particles. A magnetic fluid is characterized...
magnetic force microscope
A variation of the atomic force microscope that operates by scanning a tiny ferromagnetic probe (or a magnetized tip) over a magnetic sample, and detecting the extremely small forces exerted on the...
magnetic lens
An arranged series of coils, magnets or electromagnets disposed in such a way that the resulting magnetic fields generate a Lorentz force that is used to then focus or deflect beams of rapidly moving...
magnetic permeability -> permeability
Typically represented by the Greek letter μ, magnetic permeability is the measure of a material's ability to generate and sustain a magnetic field within itself when an external magnetic field is...
magnetic resonance imaging
An imaging technique used in radiology that is based on the principles of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to produce high-quality images of the inside of the human body by imaging the nuclei of...
magnetic resonance spectroscopy
A method of studying the chemical and physical properties of atoms and molecules (typically living tissue and chemical samples) by exploiting the magnetic properties of their atomic nuclei when an...
magnetic rotation spectroscopy
Technique in which the polarization rotation of light, and its relationship to the magnetic field strength can be analyzed and related to various experimental parameters when passed through a...
magnetic rotation spectrum
The absorption spectrum of an element influenced by a magnetic field in the same direction as the transmitted light, which is then exposed to the Faraday effect.
magnetic spectrograph
An electron system using the effect of a constant magnetic field on electron paths to differentiate electrons that have varying velocities for the accurate measurement of the energies and intensities...
magnetic tape recorder
An instrument used to record sound, pictures or both on a magnetic tape for storage and playback.
magnetic vector
A term denoting the magnitude and direction of the magnetic field associated with an electromagnetic wave when describing light in its vector form.
magnetically focused image tube
A vacuum tube in which a magnetic field is superimposed onto the tube's electrical field. When the two fields are aligned, electrons from the photocathode are accelerated through the tube in a spiral...
magneto-optic parameter
A complicated constant linked with the electron theory of the Faraday and Kerr effect. It demonstrates a specific value for each metal.
magneto-optic readout device
A device using the Kerr effect to read back the signals from mechanically recorded tapes and discs. It consists of a light source, optical lenses to focus and direct the light beam, a pair of...
magneto-optic shutter
A type of high-speed photographic shutter that uses Faraday rotation to produce exposure times as fast as 1 microsecond. It consists of two polarizers, set with their planes of polarization at right...
magneto-optic storage
A specific type of storage in which the material to be written on is heated above its transition temperature and switched in a biased field. Reading of the material is determined by the magneto-optic...
magneto-optical photonic crystal
A photonic crystal that comprises magneto-optical material such that the optical response of the device depends on the magnetization of the magneto-optical material. The magneto-optical effect can be...
magneto-optics
Magneto-optics refers to the study and manipulation of the interaction between magnetic fields and light (electromagnetic radiation). This field of physics explores how the properties of light, such...
magnetometer
A magnetometer is a scientific instrument used to measure the strength and/or direction of a magnetic field. It can detect and quantify the intensity of magnetic fields in its vicinity. Magnetometers...
magnetorheological finishing
Magnetorheological finishing (MRF) is a precision optics polishing technique used for shaping and finishing optical surfaces to achieve extremely high levels of smoothness and accuracy. It is...
magnetron sputtering
A variation from standard physical vapor deposition (PVD) coating techniques, magnetron sputtering is a plasma coating process that utilizes magnetic fields to contain the plasma in front of the...
magnification
The ratio of the size of the image of an object to that of the object. The ratio of the linear size of the image to that of the object is lateral magnification. Angular magnification is the ratio of...
magnifier
A lens or lens system that produces an enlarged virtual image of an object placed near its front focal point.
magnifying power
The ability of an optical system to make an object appear larger. An optical element or optical system causing an object to appear twice as high and twice as wide is said to have a magnification of...
magnitude
In astronomy, the relative brightness of a celestial body. Originally a scale from 1 to 6, where 1 represented the brightest and 6 the faintest visible night sky objects. This scale has been expanded...
magnon
A magnon is a quasiparticle representing a quantized spin wave in a magnetic material. In other words, it is a collective excitation of the spins of electrons in a magnetic solid, analogous to the...

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