One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Ophthalmology. Any of several methods of measuring the refraction or accommodation of the eye by photographic assessment of the pattern of light reflected back from the retina.
2Materials Science. The phenomenon exhibited by certain materials whereby their refractive index can be modulated by incident light, e.g. from a laser; variable refraction by a material with such properties.
1970s; earliest use found in Journal of the Optical Society of America. From photo- + refraction.
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