a fixed telescope for use in collimating other instruments.
an optical system that transmits parallel rays of light, as the receiving lens or telescope of a spectroscope.
Physics. a device for producing a beam of particles in which the paths of all the particles are parallel.

1815–25; collimate + -or2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
collimator (ˈkɒlɪˌmeɪtə)
1.  a small telescope attached to a larger optical instrument as an aid in fixing its line of sight
2.  an optical system of lenses and slits producing a nondivergent beam of light, usually for use in spectroscopes
3.  any device for limiting the size and angle of spread of a beam of radiation or particles

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
collimator   (kŏl'ə-mā'tər)  Pronunciation Key 
A device that turns incoming radiation, such as light, into parallel beams. Simple collimators consists of a tube having a narrow, variable slit at one end and a convex lens at the other. Radiation entering the tube through the slit exits the lens in the form of parallel beams. Collimators are used to establish focal lengths of lenses and to measure the distance of distant objects whose position is known. See illustration at spectroscope.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


device for changing the diverging light or other radiation from a point source to a parallel beam. This collimation of the light is required to make specialized measurements in spectroscopy and in geometric and physical optics.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Collimator performance characteristics are determined by the collimator dimensions and its position relative to the detector.
The collimator tube also carries the ion chamber between the two apertures in the white ceramic insulator.
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