Definition of quality factor in English:

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quality factor


1A parameter of an oscillatory system or device, such as a laser, representing the degree to which it is undamped and hence expressing the relationship between stored energy and energy dissipation.
Example sentences
  • This relationship leads to the quality factor, Q, being a constant.
  • This so-called quality factor, or ‘Q,’ is much higher than the value of about 50 achieved by the Cornell team, although the NIST researchers had reached a Q of only 800 at the time they submitted their paper to PRL.
  • The cantilever oscillation is anharmonic and asymmetric when the quality factor is low, in contrast with TM AFM in air, where the cantilever oscillation is approximately sinusoidal and symmetric.
1.1A figure expressing the ability of ionizing radiation to cause biological damage, relative to a standard dose of X-rays.
Example sentences
  • The SI unit for dose equivalent is the sievert, which is measured in grays times a quality factor for the type of radiation and the weighting factor for the tissue irradiated.
  • The dose equivalent in rems is numerically equal to the absorbed dose in rads multiplied by the quality factor, which, for most medical radiation, is one.
  • Fast moving gamma photons have a quality factor of about one, whereas alpha particles (which lose all of their energy over a very small path length) have quality factors nearer 20.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: qual·i·ty fac·tor

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