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Definitions: W

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w-type fibers -> double-clad fiber
Double-clad fiber (DCF) is a specialized optical fiber that features two concentric cladding layers surrounding a core. The design of double-clad fibers allows them to be used in various...
Wadsworth mounting
A system used for gratings that consists of a concave mirror, a grating and a plate holder mounted normal to the grating to reduce astigmatism and spherical aberration. The mounting yields a...
wafer
In the context of electronics and semiconductor manufacturing, a wafer refers to a thin, flat disk or substrate made of a semiconducting material, usually crystalline silicon. Wafers serve as the...
wafer tube
An image intensifier tube in which the photocathode and the output of the microchannel plate are proximity-focused on the microchannel plate input and output phosphor screen, respectively.
Waidner-Burgess standard
A standard of luminous intensity evaluated as the luminous intensity of 1 cm2 of a blackbody at the melting point of platinum.
water glass
A solution containing colloidal silica particles.
watt
The power that gives rise to the production of energy at the rate of 1 joule per second.
wave
1. An undulation or vibration; a form of movement by which all radiant energy of the electromagnetic spectrum is estimated to travel. 2. A type of surface defect, usually due to improper polishing.
wave function
The point function in a wave equation that represents the amplitude.
wave number
The frequency of a wave divided by its velocity of propagation; the reciprocal of the wavelength.
wave optics
Also referred to as physical optics - the area of optics in which the wave nature of light is essential when defining its propagation. To exploit the wave phenomena of light, one must interact light...
wave plate
An optical element having two principal axes, slow and fast, that resolve an incident polarized beam into two mutually perpendicular polarized beams. The emerging beam recombines to form a particular...
wave splitting
Any type of interference produced by a beamsplitter.
wave train
The continuous group of waves that persists for a short time only.
waveform analyzer
A device designed to measure the amplitude and frequency of the elements in a complex waveform.
waveform monitor
An oscilloscope used to survey the waveform of a video signal.
waveform
A waveform is a graphical representation of the shape and magnitude of a signal over time. It typically depicts how the amplitude (strength) of the signal changes over time, with time plotted along...
wavefront reconstruction -> holography
Holography is a technique used to capture and reconstruct three-dimensional images using the principles of interference and diffraction of light. Unlike conventional photography, which records only...
wavefront
A wavefront refers to the continuous surface or boundary representing points in a wave that are in phase, meaning they have the same phase or position in their respective cycles. In simpler terms,...
waveguide dispersion
For each mode in an optical waveguide, the term used to describe the process by which an electromagnetic signal is distorted by virtue of the dependence of the phase and group velocities on...
waveguide laser
Gas laser in which the tube acts as a channel for the laser beam.
waveguide nonreciprocal device
A device that consists of two types of mode converters, one of which must be magnetic. It is nonreciprocal because the coupling constants of the two mode converters have a different phase relation...
waveguide scattering
Scattering (other than material scattering) that is attributable to variations of geometry and index profile of the waveguide.
waveguide
A waveguide is a physical structure or device that is designed to confine and guide electromagnetic waves, such as radio waves, microwaves, or light waves. It is commonly used in communication...
wavelength division multiplexing
A system that allows the transmission of more than one signal over a common path, by assigning each signal a different frequency band. Also known as frequency division multiplexing.
wavelength meter
A device that measures the wavelength of an electromagnetic wave.
wavelength selective mirror
A beamsplitting mirror that reflects as a function of wavelength.
wavelength shifter
A photofluorescent compound that, when used with a scintillating substance, absorbs photons and emits related photons having a greater wavelength. In this way a phototube or photocell may employ the...
wavelength
Electromagnetic energy is transmitted in the form of a sinusoidal wave. The wavelength is the physical distance covered by one cycle of this wave; it is inversely proportional to frequency.
weakly guided fiber
A fiber for which the difference between the maximum and the minimum refractive index is small, usually less than 1 percent.
Weber's law
The law stating that the just-perceptible increment of stimulus is a constant fraction of the stimulus.
weber
The magnetic flux that, linking a circuit of one turn, produces in it an electromotive force of one volt as it is reduced to zero at a uniform rate in one second.
wedge filter
An optical filter so constructed that the density increases progressively from one end to the other, or angularly around a circular disc.
wedge photometer
A photometer that uses a wedge, marked to show its reduction of flux density, to make two light sources equal in intensity for comparison of luminous intensities. This is accomplished by the gradual...
wedge ring detector
A diffraction pattern sampling unit composed of a 32-element monolithic silicon photodiode array and a readout unit. The intensity on each detector element can be separately read out by means of a...
wedge spectrograph
A spectrograph in which the flux density transmitted through the entrance aperture is regulated by an optical wedge or similar device.
wedge tolerance
A method of specifying the allowable edge-thickness difference or decentering of a lens.
wedge
An optical element having plane-inclined surfaces. Usually the faces are inclined toward one another at very small angles. Wedges divert light toward their thicker portions, and may be circular,...
Wehnelt cylinder
Also known as cathode-ray tube grid or shield. A cylindrically shaped electrode that, containing the cathode of a cathode-ray tube with opposite potential, is designed to focus and control the...
Weibull distribution
A statistical means of characterizing the failure of a fiber or device as related to strain or time. Results are plotted on a special graph paper to yield the distribution shape parameter.
Weissenberg method
The Weissenberg method, named after the German physicist Karl Weissenberg, is a technique used in x-ray crystallography for obtaining high-quality diffraction patterns from single crystals. This...
well plate
A well plate, also known as a microplate or microtiter plate, is a flat plate with multiple small wells or depressions arranged in a grid pattern. Each well serves as a separate container for holding...
whispering gallery mode
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) refers to a phenomenon in wave physics, particularly in optics, where waves, such as light or sound waves, are trapped and circulate along the periphery of a curved...
white balance
A feature of some imaging devices, such as digital cameras, that allows them to compensate for different lighting conditions by adjusting the color balance based on the difference between a white...
white level
The state of a carrier signal that corresponds to maximum picture brightness in a television system.
white light
Light perceived as achromatic, that is, without hue.
white noise
The random noise having a spectral density that is substantially independent of the frequency over a specified frequency range. White noise is widely used in the random vibration testing of devices.
white-light continuum
An extremely wide emission spectrum generated by the nonlinear effects created when a high peak power from a short-pulse laser is focused into a water or carbon tetrachloride cell. The resulting...
white-light hologram -> rainbow hologram
Essentially, a hologram of a hologram, in which the first-generation hologram is masked with a narrow slit. During image reconstruction, the slit operates as the exit pupil in image space. The...
white-light interferometer -> 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,...

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