Stray light is light in an optical system , which was not intended in the design. The light may be from the intended source, but follow paths other than intended, or it may be from a source other than the intended source.
This light will often set a working limit on the dynamic range of the system; it limits the signal-to-noise ratio or contrast ratio , by limiting how dark the system can be.
Optical measuring instruments that work with monochromatic light , such as spectrophotometers , define stray light as light in the system at wavelengths colors other than the one intended.
The stray light level is one of the most critical specifications of an instrument. One method to reduce stray light in these systems is the use of double monochromators. Methods have also been invented to measure and compensate for stray light in spectrophotometers.
Methods for Stray Light Analysis in OpticStudio
There are also commercial sources of reference materials to help in testing the stray light level in spectrophotometers. In optical astronomy , stray light from sky glow can limit the ability to detect faint objects. In this sense stray light is light from other sources that is focused to the same place as the faint object.
Stray light is a major issue in the design of a coronagraph , used for observing the Sun's corona. There are many sources of stray light.
A number of optical design programs feature the capability of modeling stray light in an optical system, for instance:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For details on how stray light affects the performance of these instruments, see Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy.
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