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The Optical Dictionary

Nature volume 71, page 248 (12 January 1905) | Download Citation



THIS is an optical and ophthalmological glossary of English terms, symbols, and abbreviations, together with the English equivalents of some French and German terms arranged alphabetically. The meanings are, as a rule, very clearly given, and the book should prove of use to students (especially medical students) who suddenly come upon an unfamiliar term in the course of their general reading. Of course, it must be understood that it is practically impossible to explain properly any scientific term in a line or two, and this is all that is attempted; the meanings given must therefore in most cases be somewhat unsatisfactory. But the book will doubtless succeed in its aim, especially in the translation of foreign terms. As regards accuracy—the sine quâ non of a dictionary —we only notice a very few actual errors, e.g. dioptrically does not mean by reflection, and in the definition of numerical aperture the words refractive index of the medium in which the object is immersed scarcely indicate that the medium must extend into contact with the objective. Underlant is apparently a misprint for undulant, and one-third of p. 70 has got into its wrong place.

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