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Meaning of physical optics

phys'ical op'tics

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. the branch of optics concerned with the wave properties of light, the superposition of waves, the deviation of light from its rectilinear propagation in a manner other than that considered by geometrical optics, the interaction of light with matter, and the quantum, corpuscular aspects of light. Cf.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.