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optical molasses -> laser cooling
Laser cooling is a technique used to reduce the temperature of a material or a collection of atoms or molecules by using laser light. It is based on the principle of selective absorption and emission...
optical multichannel analyzer -> multichannel spectral analyzer
A spectrometric instrument that detects radiation simultaneously in multiple channels, sorts it spectrally from the deep ultraviolet to the infrared, digitizes the information and stores it for...
optical multimeter
An instrument that measures several optical parameters, such as optical power and wavelength, with a single measurement input.
optical noise
Optical noise refers to undesirable fluctuations or disturbances in an optical signal that can affect the quality or integrity of the transmitted information. This type of noise is particularly...
optical nonlinearity
The phenomenon that makes nonlinear the mathematical expression for the electrical polarization of a medium through which lightwaves are passing. Characterizes high-power lasers principally;...
optical null method -> null process
Commonly performed in spectroscopy, the optical null process is a method for radiation detection whereby physical detectors are used to rapidly interchange the intensity between a reference beam and...
optical page reader
An optical scanning system found in most computer scanners that can read documents, often in many type styles, and convert the document text into digital information to be stored, and displayed by a...
optical parametric oscillator
A laser-pumped crystal with nonlinear optical properties inside of an optical resonator in which the output generates coherent light whose output can be tuned continuously over a variety of infrared...
optical path -> optical distance
The physical length of the light path in a substance divided by the refractive index of that substance. See also equivalent air path.
optical path difference
The relative path difference (or phase shift) traveled between two rays that pass through different mediums from the same object point. For a perfect optical system, the optical path, or distance,...
optical path length
In a medium of constant refractive index, the product of the geometrical distance and the refractive index.
optical phase distortion
Optical phase distortion refers to a phenomenon where the phase of an optical wavefront is altered as it propagates through a medium. This distortion can result from variations in the refractive...
optical phonon resonance
The point at which infrared transmission is cut off.
optical power -> radiant power
The time rate of flow of radiant energy, expressed in watts (W), and carries the units of Joule per second (J/s). The prefix often is dropped and the term "power" used.
optical power spectrum
Also known as the Wiener spectrum or the noise power spectrum, the optical power spectrum is a fundamental quantity in film-screen image quality evaluation. It is a means of describing image content...
optical profiler
Also known as a white-light interferometer. Measures surface texture and shape from nanometer-scale roughness to millimeter-scale step heights. A standard arrangement includes an illumination source,...
optical pumping
The process whereby the number of atoms or atomic systems in a set of energy levels is changed by the absorption of light that falls on the material. This process raises the atoms to specific higher...
optical pyrometer
An instrument for determining the temperature of a hot object by examining the color spectrum of the visible light it gives off and comparing it to the known temperature and wavelength spectrum of...
optical pyrometry
The determination of the temperature of a source by the detection of its incandescent brightness.
optical rail -> optical bench
A support for optical parts comprising a solid bed that permits precise longitudinal movement of one component relative to the others, and a number of sliders equipped with holders for lenses, lamps,...
optical rangefinder -> rangefinder
1. An optical distance finder that depends on triangulation of two convergent beams on an object from disparate view points. 2. A device that depends on the measurement of time of wave travel from an...
optical read-only memory
Generic term for read-only optical data storage, source of the Philips-Sony term CD-ROM.
optical relay -> relay lens
A lens or lens system used to transfer a real image from one point within an optical system to another, with or without magnifying it.
optical repeater
In an optical fiber or waveguide communications system, an optoelectronic device or module that receives an optical signal, converts this optical signal to an electrical signal which is then...
optical resolution
A measure of image quality produced by an optical system. May be specified in terms of cycles per millimeter, referencing a repeating bar pattern; or angular resolution, referencing the angle...
optical resonator -> resonator
A resonator is a device or system that exhibits resonance, which is a phenomenon that occurs when an external force or stimulus is applied at a specific frequency, causing the system to oscillate...
optical rotation
1. The angular displacement of the plane of polarization of light passing through a medium. 2. The azimuthal displacement of the field of view achieved with a rotating prism.
optical sound recorder -> photographic sound recorder
A system in which the electrical signal embedded within an audio input signal is converted to a modulated light pattern and recorded on film.
optical spectrum
1.) Generally, the electromagnetic spectrum within the wavelength region extending from the vacuum ultraviolet at 40 nm to the far-infrared at 1 mm. 2.) The wavelength or color distribution...
optical staining
With respect to microscopy, also called dispersive staining, optical staining the projection of colors through areas of a colorless specimen by color filters that are constructed to fit over the...
optical storage -> optical data storage
The storage of information via optical means, primarily employing a low-power laser to inscribe data on a photosensitive surface as pits or phase differences and to read such data via reflected light...
optical strain sensors
Optical strain sensors are devices that utilize optical principles to measure the deformation or strain experienced by a material under mechanical stress. These sensors convert changes in strain into...
optical surface
A reflecting or refracting surface contained within an optical system.
optical switching
Optical switching refers to the process of controlling the routing or transmission of optical signals within a network using various techniques to selectively switch or redirect optical paths. This...
optical system
A group of lenses, or any combination of lenses, mirrors and prisms, so constructed as to refract or reflect light to perform some definite optical function.
optical table
An optical table, also known as an optical bench or an optical breadboard, is a specialized platform used in optics laboratories for mounting and aligning optical components. These tables provide a...
optical tape recorder
An instrument used for video or computer data storage in which a laser optical head is used to write digital information onto a tape. Depending on the size of the reel, the tape may be capable of...
optical testing
Refers to a variety of methods and tools used to determine the surface contour and performance of optical components and systems.
optical testing instrument
An optical testing instrument is a device or system used to evaluate and measure the performance, quality, and characteristics of optical components, systems, and devices. These instruments play a...
optical theorem
A fundamental law of wave scattering theory that connects the extinction cross section of a scatterer to the real part of the forward-scattering amplitude. It is used in the study of division of...
optical thickness
The physical thickness times the refractive index.
optical time-domain reflectometer
An optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) is a specialized instrument used in optical fiber communications to characterize and analyze the optical fibers' characteristics, including attenuation,...
optical time-domain reflectometry
A method for characterizing a fiber wherein an optical pulse is transmitted through the fiber, and the resulting light scattered and reflected to the input is measured (by an optical time-domain...
optical tooling level
A surveying device used to measure vertical displacement of target centers of scale lines from a horizontal plane generated by up to 360° of sweep around its precision vertical axis.
optical tooling target
Sets of paired lines carefully designed to give the most accurate pointing possible for various lengths of sight.
optical transfer function
The function that characterizes the quality of an optical system by denoting the modulation and spatial phase shift of the image of a sinusoidal object with frequency as the independent variable.
optical transform image modulation
A technique for detecting and measuring atmospheric pollution, in which an oscillating mirror directs half the incoming light to a transducer that controls amplitude and frequency, and the resulting...
optical transition
The process by which an atomic system changes from one energy level to another by either the emission or absorption of visible, infrared or ultraviolet radiation.
optical trapping -> laser trapping
A technique for confining atoms, molecules or small particles within one or more laser beams. This can be accomplished through the use of a single focused beam or multiple intersecting beams. With a...
optical tweezers
Optical tweezers refer to a scientific instrument that uses the pressure of laser light to trap and manipulate microscopic objects, such as particles or biological cells, in three dimensions. This...

Photonics DictionaryO

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