# diffraction

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## dif·frac·tion

(dĭ-frăk′shən)
n.
Change in the directions and intensities of a group of waves after passing by an obstacle or through an aperture whose size is approximately the same as the wavelength of the waves.

[New Latin diffrāctiō, diffrāctiōn-, from Latin diffrāctus, past participle of diffringere : dis-, apart; see dis- + frangere, to break; see bhreg- in Indo-European roots.]

## diffraction

(dɪˈfrækʃən)
n
1. (General Physics) physics a deviation in the direction of a wave at the edge of an obstacle in its path
2. (General Physics) any phenomenon caused by diffraction and interference of light, such as the formation of light and dark fringes by the passage of light through a small aperture
3. (General Physics) deflection of sound waves caused by an obstacle or by nonhomogeneity of a medium
[C17: from New Latin diffractiō a breaking to pieces, from Latin diffringere to shatter, from dis- apart + frangere to break]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

## dif•frac•tion

(dɪˈfræk ʃən)

n.
a modulation of waves in response to an obstacle, as an object, slit, or grating, in the path of propagation, giving rise in light waves to a banded pattern or to a spectrum.
[1665–75; < New Latin diffrāctiō, derivative of Latin diffringere to break up]

## dif·frac·tion

(dĭ-frăk′shən)
The bending or turning of a wave, such as a light wave, when it encounters an obstacle, such as an edge, or a hole whose size is similar to the wavelength of the wave. The patterns made by the diffraction of waves can be useful for understanding the minute structures of objects. The diffraction patterns made by x-rays as they pass between the atoms of a molecule, for example, are studied in order to determine the molecule's overall structure. See more at wave.

## diffraction

An effect caused when, after passing an obstacle or through a narrow slit, waves (e.g. of light) interfere with each other and may bend or spread.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
 Noun 1 diffraction - when light passes sharp edges or goes through narrow slits the rays are deflected and produce fringes of light and dark bandsoptical phenomenon - a physical phenomenon related to or involving lightX-ray diffraction - the scattering of X rays by the atoms of a crystal; the diffraction pattern shows structure of the crystal
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Translations

## diffraction

[dɪˈfrækʃən] N
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005

## diffraction

nDiffraktion f, → Beugung f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007

## diffraction

[dɪˈfrækʃn] n (Phys) →
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995

## dif·frac·tion

n. difracción.
1. desviación de dirección;
2. la descomposición de un rayo de luz y sus componentes al atravesar un cristal o prisma;
___ patternpatrón de ___.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
Long ago visual observers realized that fleeting moments of extreme clarity occur when atmospheric turbulence momentarily subsides, allowing telescopes to resolve planetary detail at their theoretical diffraction limit. Unfortunately, the human eye-brain combination lacks permanent storage capabilities, so detailed drawings had to be made.
The Herschelian reflector's lack of central obstruction as well as chromatic aberration promises images of high contrast and superb definition, provided that coma and astigmatism are kept below the diffraction limit. A few telescope makers have corrected these aberrations by mechanically deforming the primary mirror using a warping harness cell, while others have used a pair of tilted meniscus lenses or a cylindrical lens placed a short distance in front of the focal plane.
That's near the diffraction limit of an 8.2-meter telescope at the image's wavelength of 2.2 microns.
The laws of physics dictate a telescope's finest possible angular resolution: its diffraction limit. This resolution, in arcseconds, is j = 206,000 l/D, where l is the observing wavelength and D is the telescope diameter in the same units.
Yet NEWTRYAD (one of my "new try" designs) is a good performer: it minimizes focal-plane tilt and yields very clean star images, images that lie within the diffraction limit of its 6-inch aperture.
Working at the diffraction limit requires high magnification.

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