Definition of optics in English:


plural noun

  • 1The scientific study of sight and the behaviour of light, or the properties of transmission and deflection of other forms of radiation.

    • ‘Franck called in his graduate student, Wilhelm Hanle, who worked in physical optics, and asked if he could understand Wood's findings.’
    • ‘From a physics point of view we would also like to leave geometric optics behind and use the wave nature of light rays instead.’
    • ‘The easiest way to describe light rays and light cones is through geometric optics.’
    • ‘But before I do so, there is one further unresolved historical issue to be explored: from whom might Vermeer have learned about optics and lenses?’
    • ‘With the same energy with which he approached everything, Rayleigh developed laboratory courses in heat, electricity and magnetism, properties of matter, optics, and acoustics.’
    • ‘Only after Galileo had become famous through his discoveries in the area of mechanics, dynamics and optics, did he admit his Copernican position in print.’
    • ‘The exhibits cover topics relating to energy, electricity, mechanics, optics, sound, light, and even nuclear energy and astronomy.’
    • ‘Gregory began to study optics and the construction of telescopes.’
    • ‘In optics he experimented with mirrors and with lenses.’
    • ‘Modern scholarship has not seriously affected his stature in the fields of mathematics, dynamics, celestial mechanics, astronomy, optics, natural philosophy, or cosmology.’
    • ‘Regrettably, fluid dynamics is not well covered in standard physics curricula, but the ideas have natural connections to basic conservation laws, optics, and quantum mechanics.’
    • ‘He published on optics, quantum mechanics, and relativity.’
    • ‘He convinced himself of a conspiracy against him, and gave up the study of optics, refusing to correspond with anyone about it.’
    • ‘From 1491 to 1494, Copernicus studied mathematics and optics at Krakow University.’
    • ‘Other courses Whittaker taught at Cambridge included astronomy, geometrical optics, and electricity and magnetism.’
    • ‘Seurat proposed making art based upon a scientific understanding of optics and color.’
    • ‘In applied mathematics he studied optics, electricity, telegraphy, capillarity, elasticity, thermodynamics, potential theory, quantum theory, theory of relativity and cosmology.’
    • ‘In 1824 David Brewster, famous for his work in optics, was the first author to use the term ‘pyroelectricity.’’
    • ‘Additional breadth in the curriculum comes from required courses in electronics, optics, an elective specialty course - solid state, for instance - and a senior thesis.’
    • ‘This work is an encyclopaedia of mathematics, astronomy, optics and music.’
  • 2North American (typically in a political context) the way in which an event or course of action is perceived by the public.

    ‘the issue itself is secondary to the optics of the Democrats opposing this administration in a high-profile way’
    • ‘Speaking on RTE radio yesterday morning, he said he never did anything unlawful, but admitted that "the optics on this are not pleasant".’
    • ‘The decision may not make for good public optics, since accountability has come to be seen as a key issue in medicare, and there have been allegations that some provinces are pursuing secret agendas to privatize health care.’
    • ‘The "optics" on this are not good judging from the offhand comments I've heard from various people today.’
    • ‘If he'd brought his son along, it would have been better optics but at least he's following my advice.’
    • ‘Collins argues that it is not simply US politics which has subtituted optics for politics.’
    • ‘The Republicans understood one thing very well and that was that the optics of legislation are important.’
    • ‘Life is still not easy in America, and people still suffer, but the optics have changed.’
    • ‘But when it began to look like the protesters he brought with him to the legislature were being paid to be there, the optics changed.’
    • ‘In politics, optics matter.’
    • ‘However the optics of such a venture are worrisome for McPhail.’
    • ‘With a federal election on the horizon, optics are everything.’
    • ‘But even if Harper took over, the optics of him forming a quasi-coalition with the Bloc would have been so bad to ensure he'd never win again.’
    • ‘You may be entirely right about the optics or the PR aspect of this, that it looks bad for the administration to do this unilaterally without consulting Congress.’
    • ‘State Transportation Department officials noted in early October that federal officials were concerned about the project's "optics."’
    • ‘A pre-election survey that could result in budget surplus refund cheques creates "brilliant" political optics that could be unbeatable.’
    • ‘White said the optics won't be good for CSC employees who were irked their chief was globe trotting while guards struggled to hammer out a new contract.’
    • ‘One thing is for sure, the policy's optics are bad.’
    • ‘So much of the news in the last week or two has apparently been more for the benefit of optics than for any substance.’
    • ‘They had no clue about the optics of the situation.’
    • ‘The optics are terrible, but it's also a terrible waste of government money.’