Definition of quality factor in English:

quality factor

Syllabification: qual·i·ty fac·tor


  • 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.
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    • 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.
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    • 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.

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Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody