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optical British & World English

Relating to sight, especially in relation to the action of light

optical art British & World English

Another term for op art.

optical axis British & World English

A line passing through the centre of curvature of a lens or spherical mirror and parallel to the axis of symmetry

optical bench British & World English

A straight rigid bar, typically marked with a scale, to which supports for lenses, light sources, and other optical components can be attached

optical fibre British & World English

A thin glass fibre through which light can be transmitted

optical glass British & World English

A very pure kind of glass used for lenses

optical path British & World English

The distance which in a vacuum would contain the same number of wavelengths as the actual path taken by a ray of light

magneto-optical British & World English

Relating to or employing both optical and magnetic phenomena or technology

optical density British & World English

The degree to which a refractive medium retards transmitted rays of light

optical double British & World English

A group of two stars which appear to constitute a double star due to their being in the same line of sight as seen from the earth, but are actually at different distances

optical isomer British & World English

Each of two or more forms of a compound which have the same structure but are mirror images of each other and typically differ in optical activity

optical scanner British & World English

A device which performs optical character recognition and produces coded signals corresponding to the characters identified

optical activity British & World English

The property (displayed by solutions of some compounds, notably many sugars) of rotating the plane of polarization of plane-polarized light

optical brightener British & World English

A fluorescent substance added to detergents in order to produce a whitening effect on laundry

optical illusion British & World English

Something that deceives the eye by appearing to be other than it is

optical microscope British & World English

A microscope using visible light, typically viewed directly by the eye

optical rotation British & World English

The rotation of the plane of polarization of plane-polarized light by an optically active substance

optical turnstile British & World English

An access control system without barriers in which those attempting to enter are evaluated by closed-circuit television or other visual means

optical tweezers British & World English

A device that uses light from a low-wattage laser to manipulate individual molecules within cells

optical centring New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

positioning text on a page so that it appears to be centred though by measurement it is not

optical character recognition British & World English

The identification of printed characters using photoelectric devices and computer software

disk in disc British & World English

An information storage device for a computer in the shape of a round flat plate which can be rotated to give access to all parts of the surface. The data may be stored either magnetically (in a magnetic disk) or optically (in an optical disk such as a CD-ROM)

indicatrix British & World English

An imaginary ellipsoidal surface whose axes represent the refractive indices of a crystal for light following different directions with respect to the crystal axes

optical indicatrix in indicatrix British & World English

An imaginary ellipsoidal surface whose axes represent the refractive indices of a crystal for light following different directions with respect to the crystal axes

optical disk in disc British & World English

An information storage device for a computer in the shape of a round flat plate which can be rotated to give access to all parts of the surface. The data may be stored either magnetically (in a magnetic disk) or optically (in an optical disk such as a CD-ROM)