Definition of scintillation in English:



  • 1A flash or sparkle of light:

    ‘scintillations of diamond-hard light’
    • ‘What a whirl, what a swirl, what a syncopating scintillation of networking, flirting and aerobic socializing this week mixes up!’
    • ‘It's just that they sound almost too well-rehearsed for this kind of repertoire: Russian passion meeting Germanic scintillation not quite equalling true jazz.’
    • ‘I climb here, gazing round, above, beneath, wholly encompassed by the ocean's scene; and there I send the gods supreme oblation, scattered beyond in jeweled scintillation over the depths, disdainful and serene.’
    • ‘The dragon shattered into the shadows as the scintillation of explosive elemental forces raced out and away from the impact.’
    • ‘It is continuing the six-stringed scintillation that originated on the band's first effort.’
    1. 1.1[mass noun] The process or state of emitting flashes of light.
      • ‘There is an oscillation which causes an impression of scintillation over the area.’
    2. 1.2Physics A small flash of visible or ultraviolet light emitted by fluorescence in a phosphor when struck by a charged particle or high-energy photon.
      • ‘I loved to hold its face close to mine in the dark and watch the scintillations produced every time a radium nucleus decayed.’
      • ‘Unlike other carbon-dating methods that monitor scintillations produced by radioactive decay, the TAMS method counts the actual number of carbon isotope atoms in a sample.’
      • ‘More recently, astrophysicists explained the intraday variability in luminosity as a scintillation in the interstellar medium rather than rapid quasar rotation.’
    3. 1.3Astronomy [mass noun] The twinkling of the stars, caused by the earth's atmosphere diffracting starlight unevenly.
      • ‘Light and radio waves get refracted in a phenomenon known as ionospheric scintillation (similar to the way light is refracted by water, such that a pencil looks bent when it is halfsubmerged in a glass of water).’
      • ‘They were looking for a differential shift of less than one second of arc; even on a perfectly still night, the amount of scintillation or blurring shown by stars due to atmospheric turbulence is of this order.’