Pau, Stanley College of Optical Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
Lord, Richard C. Formerly, Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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The scientific study of light and vision. The word optics comes from the Greek word for the science of the laws of sight. In modern times, optics has come to include the study of any phenomenon associated with electromagnetic radiation in the spectral range extending from the high-energy edge of the x-ray region to the low-energy edge of the radio region. This range, often called the optical region or the optical spectrum, spans the wavelengths from about 1 nanometer (4 × 10−8 in.) to about 1 mm (0.04 in.). For information about the various branches of optics See also: Crystal optics; Geometrical optics; Meteorological optics; Nonlinear optics; Photonics; Physical optics; Vision; Wave optics
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