Optics Dictionary

Sometimes reading a scientific explanation is as difficult as reading Parseltongue. This section features definitions and etymology for the terms and phrases you will encounter as you explore the science of light. Etymology is the study of the history of words — when they entered a language, from what source, and how their form and meaning have changed over time. Ever wonder how the word optics got its meaning? OK — probably not but now you can find out!

Quantum (plural quanta)

General Terms

The smallest amount of a physical entity involved in an interaction.

Quantum optics

General Terms

The study of light and its interactions with matter using a quantum mechanical approach.