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!

Young's modulus (tensile modulus, elastic modulus)

General Terms

A measure of stiffness of a material, defined by the ratio of the stress to the strain along the same axis.

Young’s double-slit experiment

General Terms

An experiment in which light or matter goes through slits and then is observed on a screen. The experiment shows the wave and particle characteristics of both light and matter.