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Photonics Dictionary: S

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stibine gas
The purest gas source of antimony, which is used in the manufacture of compound semiconductors for IR sensors and solid-state lasers.
stick machine
A polishing machine with a lens mounted on a wooden stick, allowing a very wide sweep. It is used to polish hemispherical or hyper-hemispherical surfaces.
stick marks
The fine scratches formed when, in hand centering, the forked stick used to move the lens on the chuck marks the rotating lens surface.
stiction
In positioning, the friction that prevents immediate motion when force is first applied to a body or surface at rest.
stilb
A unit of luminance that is equal to one candela/cm2. (sb).
stimulated Brillouin scattering
In Stimulated Brillouin Scattering (SBS), an incident photon (usually laser light) interacts with acoustic phonons in a medium. The energy and momentum of the incident photon are transferred to the...
stimulated emission
Radiation similar in origin to spontaneous emission but determined by the presence of other radiation having the same frequency. Because the phase and amplitude of the stimulated wave depend on the...
STED
stimulated emission depletion
stimulated Raman scattering -> Raman effect
When light is transmitted through matter, part of the light is scattered in random directions. A small part of the scattered light has frequencies removed from the frequency of the incident beam by...
stimulated thermal scattering
Light from a pulsed laser focused into nonsaturable absorbing fluid that generates a strongly backscattered light beam with a frequency higher than that of the incident light.
Stirling coolers
Employ a Stirling engine for cryogenic cooling.
Stirling engine
An engine in which work is performed by the expansion of a gas at high temperature; heat for the expansion is supplied through the wall of the piston cylinder.
stitching
The process of creating a large, panoramic image by aligning and joining a set of smaller images. Image processing is used to obscure the edges between the smaller images, producing a seamless...
STM
scanning tunneling microscope; synchronous transfer mode
STN
supertwisted nematic
stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy
Stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) is a superresolution microscopy technique that enables imaging of biological specimens at resolutions beyond the diffraction limit of conventional...
stoichiometry
The determination of what, how much and in what proportions chemicals must be combined to produce the desired reactions and products.
Stokes line
A line of the Raman spectrum that fulfills Stokes' law because it possesses a wavelength that is greater than the radiation that stimulated the luminescence of the source.
Stokes parameters
The parameters, relative to polarized light and the Poincaré sphere, that are usually represented as: I, the intensity of the light beam; M, that part of the beam polarized in the horizontal plane;...
Stokes' law
Relative to radiation wavelength, the law that states that the wavelength of luminescence stimulated by radiation always surpasses that of the stimulating radiation.
stone
An opaque inclusion in glass that contains undissolved or crystalline material. Also known as a seed.
stop down
To reduce the size of a lens aperture, which increases the depth of field.
stop-motion camera
A motion-picture camera that can be advanced one frame at a time, either randomly or at set intervals. Used in animation and time-lapse photography.
storage area network
A high-speed network or subnetwork that provides a connection between servers and data storage devices.
storage time
Interval between cutting off a photoconductor's signal and the fall of current output to 90 percent.
storage tube
A cathode-ray tube combined with an electrostatic storage unit that is used to introduce, store and retrieve information translated into electric charge form.
stored beam hologram
A term referring to the pre-exposed hologram of the subject used in holographic interferometry.
STP
standard temperature and pressure; standard thermal profile
straight-path approximation
The determination of axially symmetric and asymmetric refractive-index distributions by use of interferometry carried out on the basis of the approximation of a straight path of rays passing through...
strain
In optics, the mechanical tension, compression or shear in optical glass due to internal stress caused by improper cooling or annealing during manufacture of the glass or the subsequent working of...
strain measuring equipment -> photoelasticity
The process of determining, with the aid of plane-polarized light, the stress distribution in materials under complex systems of loading.
strain viewer
A viewer that uses the transmittance of polarized light through glass or a similar medium to examine strained regions. See polariscope.
streak camera
A streak camera is a specialized instrument used to capture and analyze ultrafast phenomena, such as extremely short pulses of light or rapidly changing events. Unlike traditional cameras that...
Strehl ratio
The ratio of the illuminance at the peak of the diffraction pattern of an aberrated point image to that at the peak of an aberration-free image as formed by the same optical system.
strength member
A strand of aramid yarn, steel or fiberglass in an optical cable intended to prevent bending or stretching that would damage the transport medium.
stress birefringence
Birefringence of materials that is induced or altered by stress fields.
stress corrosion
A type of fatigue found in optical fibers, caused by water or another corroding agent.
stress-applying part
In polarization-preserving optical fibers, the element used to induce birefringence. The SAP is highly doped to provide a different coefficient of expansion from the rest of the fiber material; when...
stressed mirror polishing
A method of polishing an aspheric surface by mechanically distorting the optic while polishing the surface to a perfect sphere. When the stress is released, the substrate assumes the desired aspheric...
striae
An imperfection in optical glass consisting of a distinct streak of transparent material having a slightly different refractive index from the body of glass. It is caused by improper mixing of...
string
Wavy transparent line in a sheet of glass appearing as though a thread of glass had been incorporated into the sheet.
strioscopy -> zero-order filtering
The removal of the zero-order component of the Fourier spectrum distribution of an object with a small, opaque absorber or reflector in the Fourier plane, to produce images that appear bright on a...
stripe laser
In rudimentary form, this technology consists of diffusion of a PN junction through a mask of silica, over which a contact is applied.
stripper
A tool used to remove the outer cladding of an optical fiber without damaging the fiber core.
stripwound hose
A type of sheathing for fiber optic cable that incorporates a coil of metal; often used in harsh environments.
stroboscope
A device that produces brief flashes of light for observing the behavior of an object during a short interval. One of the most effective means for accomplishing this is a gaseous tube energized by...
stroboscopic interferometry
A pulsed interferometer that permits the continuous quantitative mapping of the surface deformation of an adaptive optical element (e.g., a deformable mirror) and provides the capability for...
stroboscopic light source
An electronic flash tube capable of repeated operation at hundreds or thousands of flashes per second for long periods.
strobotron
A specified cold-cathode gas tube used to apply a short-duration, high-power arc for a stroboscope.
stroke pattern
The pattern formed by a character generation cathode-ray tube system, in which the characters are composed of a sequence of line segments (strokes) generated by the electron beam motion with time...

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