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Reflectance

Definition: the ratio of reflected optical power to the incident optical power at some reflecting object

German: Reflektanz

Category: general optics

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The term reflectance is defined as the ratio of reflected optical power to the incident optical power at a reflecting object – for example, an optical system. For reflections at flat unstructured surfaces, it is the same as the reflectivity. However, the reflectance is a more general term and can be specified in a wider range of situations:

The results of reflection measurements with spectrophotometers, for example, are usually called reflectance rather than reflectivity, since the reflections do not need to occur on a single surface.

Some cases, the term reflectance is used in a non-quantitative manner. For example, there is the phenomenon of Lambertian reflectance, as explained in the article on Lambertian emitters and scatterers.

See also: reflectivity, transmittance, absorbance
and other articles in the category general optics

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