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Photonics Dictionary: M

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matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization
Process of analysis in which the analyte substance is distributed in a matrix before laser desorption. This method avoids the mass limitations associated with laser desorption and possibly enhances...
matrix-controlled display
A display that is formed in an X-Y manner; i.e., two inputs allow control of X2 elements.
A term used to describe a nondirectionally diffusing surface that, when illuminated, appears equally bright from all angles. An example of this kind of surface is the screen used for the forward...
media access unit — A media access unit (MAU) is a unique device utilized to connect token ring devices from multiple network stations into a star topology. There are two types of MAUs, passive and active. Passive MAUs are powered from their network connections while active MAUs are powered electrically from an external source.
maximum luminous efficiency
The greatest luminosity possible for a specified chromaticity.
maximum luminous reflectance
The greatest luminous reflectance possible for a specified chromaticity.
maximum luminous transmittance
The greatest luminous transmittance possible for a specified chromaticity.
maximum permissable exposure
The maximum level of laser radiation that a person may be exposed to without adverse biological effects.
maximum saturation
The highest value of saturation possible for a specified hue.
Maxwell triangle
A diagram used to represent the trichromatic variables of the components in a three-color combination.
Maxwell's equations
The mathematical set of equations showing the relationship between oscillating electric and magnetic fields that are generated by an oscillating electric charge. Intrinsic to Maxwell's equations is...
megabit — The megabit (also expressed as Mbit) is equivalent to one million (or 106) of the standard unit for digital information storage in telecommunications which is the bit.
megabyte — The megabyte (also expressed as Mbyte) is equivalent to one million (106) of the standard unit for digital information storage in computing which is the byte.
megabytes per second — The megabyte per second (not to be mixed up with the Mb/s -- megabits per second) is a unit of data transfer rate equivalent to one million (106) bytes per second over a given information network.
megabits per second — The megabit per second (not to be mixed up with the mbit/s – millibit per second, or Mbitps- megabit picosecond) is a unit of data transfer rate equivalent to one million (or 106) bits per second over a given information network.
molecular beam epitaxy — A well-controlled thin film technique for growing films with good crystal structure in ultra high vacuum environments at very low deposition rates. MBE is also commonly used in the manufacture of semiconductor devices and solar cells.
megacycles per second — Megacyces per second is an oscillation rate equivalent to one million (or 106) of the standard unit of a single optical period over a second which is an optical cycle.
microchannel analyzer
McClatchey model
Calculation of gas and aerosol transmission and emission characteristics for several model atmospheres, including two model aerosol distributions.
millicandela — The millicandela is equivalent to one thousandth (or 10-3) of the standard unit of luminous intensity that is the candela, which is the power emitted by a given light source in a particular direction.
mutual coherence function — The mutual coherence function is a complex quantity that is the time-averaged value of the cross correlation function of a light field at two points within an aperture with a time delay that relates the path difference to the point of observation of the interference fringes. The mutual coherence function is the key function in coherence theory and the study of partially coherent light.
McLeod gauge
A gauge designed to measure high degrees of vacuum. It consists of a glass bulb attached to the vacuum vessel, the measurement being made by filling the bulb with mercury and observing the volume of...
modulation contrast microscopy; multichip module — modulation contrast microscopy is a unique illumination technique that enhances contrast in an imaging microscope by converting optical gradients into variations in light intensity. Modulation contrast microscopy is found most commonly in live cell imaging, polarization microscopy, phase contrast, and oblique illumination of stained, unstained and birefringent specimens. A multichip module is an electronic packaging system where multiple discrete electronic components (integrated circuits, semiconductor diodes, etc.) are packaged in various ways onto a single substrate.
microchannel plate
megacycles per second
mercury cadmium telluride — Mercury cadmium teluride (HgCdTe) is a specific alloy combination that allows one to obtain any optical absorption bandgap of the material between 0 and 1.5 electron volts (eV) making it completely transparent at photon energies and wavelengths below the energy gap in the infrared.
modified chemical vapor deposition
magnetic Czochralski process — Introduction of an external magnetic field in the Czochralski melting process for crystal growth in order to influence the flow and dampen the amplitudes of the melt oscillations that occur in the process. This is accomplished when the external magnetic field generates an electric field inside the melt, which further induces an internal magnetic field in the now electrically conducting melt. The amplitudes of the now induced electric and magnetic fields can be controlled by the strength of the external magnetic field allowing control of the MCZ process.
minimum detection limit (MDL) — In chemistry, the minimum detection limit is the lowest concentration of a chemical substance that can be discerned from the absence of that substance.
metal-dielectric multilayer (MDM) — Periodic nanofilm structures for optical mode confinement and tunneling of resonant surface plasmons.
mean dispersion -> dispersive power
A measure of the dispersive properties of a glass. The relative dispersion is defined as: where C, D, and F refer to the material's index of refraction at the three chief Fraunhofer lines in the...
mean solar time
One of two types of solar time - the other being apparent solar time - the mean solar time is the time measured by the average hour angle position of the sun in the sky compiled over a period of one...
mean spherical intensity
The average intensity of a light source measured over all directions.
mean spherical luminous intensity
The average luminous intensity of a point light source measured over all directions.
measuring eyepiece
Also known as an eyepiece micrometer. A microscope eyepiece that has a finely divided scale ruled or photographed on a section of transparent glass, and located in the focal plane. The dimensions of...
measuring wedge
A wedge in a rangefinder or heightfinder used to displace the image produced by one telescope so that it coincides with that produced by the other telescope, thus affording a measurement of the...
mechanical birefringence -> stress birefringence
Birefringence of materials that is induced or altered by stress fields.
mechanical center -> geometric center
The physical center of the lens; it is on the axis of the lens, halfway between the front and rear vertex. It is sometimes referred to as the mechanical center of the lens.
mechanical splice
A fiber splice accomplished by fixtures or materials, rather than by thermal fusion. Index matching material may be applied between the two fiber ends.
mechanical tube length
In a microscope, the physical distance between the focal points of the objective lens and the eyepiece. The standard tube length for a microscope is typically 160 mm).
median filtering
In image processing, a method of local smoothing by replacing each pixel with the median gray level of neighboring pixels.
medical lasers
Medical lasers are devices that produce intense beams of light with specific characteristics and properties, which are used for various medical applications. These lasers emit light in the form of...
Any substance or space through which electromagnetic radiation can travel.
In the SI system, prefix meaning 1 million, 106.
Meissner effect
The elimination of magnetic fields from within a material as that material makes the transition from the normal to superconducting state.
many-element laser; maximum excess loss (MEL) — the many element laser is a laser unit that consists of N like elements of active materials for support with the mode selection of the laser output. The mode selection properties of a many element laser have been experimentally exploited with as many as 10 like elements. Maximum excess loss is the maximum power lost within a give system (typically a fiber optic communication system) including scattering, dispersion, absorption and coupling loss.
melting point
The temperature at which the solid phase of a material is in equilibrium with the liquid phase, or when the material changes from a solid to a liquid.

Photonics DictionaryM

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