Definition of quality factor in US English:

quality factor


  • 1A parameter of an oscillatory system or device, such as a laser, representing the degree to which it is undamped and hence expressing the relationship between stored energy and energy dissipation.

    • ‘The m 1 variables are the transformation of the rating scales used in the model from the ordinal y = 1 value to the continuous variable y *, which for instance ranges between 0 and 0.647 for the quality factor.’
    • ‘This relationship leads to the quality factor, Q, being a constant.’
    • ‘The cantilever oscillation is anharmonic and asymmetric when the quality factor is low, in contrast with TM AFM in air, where the cantilever oscillation is approximately sinusoidal and symmetric.’
    • ‘When DAC-AFM is used in liquids, the high viscosity of the medium dramatically reduces the quality factor of the cantilever with the consequent sensitivity lost.’
    • ‘This so-called quality factor, or ‘Q,’ is much higher than the value of about 50 achieved by the Cornell team, although the NIST researchers had reached a Q of only 800 at the time they submitted their paper to PRL.’
    1. 1.1 A figure expressing the ability of ionizing radiation to cause biological damage, relative to a standard dose of X-rays.
      • ‘A quality factor of from 2.3 to 10 is used for neutrons, depending on their energy, and a quality factor of 20 is used for alpha particles.’
      • ‘Fast moving gamma photons have a quality factor of about one, whereas alpha particles (which lose all of their energy over a very small path length) have quality factors nearer 20.’
      • ‘The value of the quality factor for each type of radiation depends on the distribution of the absorbed energy in a mass of tissue.’
      • ‘The SI unit for dose equivalent is the sievert, which is measured in grays times a quality factor for the type of radiation and the weighting factor for the tissue irradiated.’
      • ‘The dose equivalent in rems is numerically equal to the absorbed dose in rads multiplied by the quality factor, which, for most medical radiation, is one.’