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adaptive optics

the branch of optics that compensates for image distortions, especially by means of flexible mirrors or membranes. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for adaptive optics
  • None of this star subtraction would be possible without adaptive optics-a means of sharpening telescope images.
  • Giant ground-based telescopes and adaptive optics have brought a new age in astronomy.
  • You're going to have to have adaptive optics and a pretty robust and sophisticated closed-loop tracking system.
  • And adaptive optics, against all odds, actually works.
  • His origin of life theories are taken seriously in the field, his contributions to adaptive optics is widely acknowledged.
  • Macintosh is an expert in using adaptive optics to image astronomical phenomena.
British Dictionary definitions for adaptive optics

adaptive optics

noun (functioning as sing)
a technique used to increase the resolution of a ground-based astronomical telescope by counteracting the effects of the atmosphere on the image. A deforming mirror in the light path of the telescope maintains a pointlike image of the celestial body using either a real star or a laser beam as a reference
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for adaptive optics

a process which compensates for image distortions in telescopes caused by the atmosphere etc., esp. by use of flexible membranes or mirrors


In adaptive optics, a wavefront sensor uses a reference star to measure the distortions that are occurring and the distortions are then removed with a phase corrector.

Usage Note

optics's 21st Century Lexicon
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