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Optical Radiation Sources and Standards

  1. Jonathan Diedrich,
  2. John Dodds

Published Online: 15 JUL 2004

DOI: 10.1002/3527600434.eap640

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

How to Cite

Diedrich, J. and Dodds, J. 2004. Optical Radiation Sources and Standards. Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. .

Author Information

  1. General Dynamics—AIS, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2004


Artificial visible and near-visible electromagnetic radiation is produced and characterized in several different ways. From incandescent light bulbs and gas-discharge lamps to LEDs and lasers, light sources have been evolving for years. This chapter describes the various ways that light is produced as well as standardized. The first section discusses some of the different types of sources of radiation. Illustrated along with the different sources are examples of their uses. With all these sources, standardization and calibration are very important. The second section will discuss how, along with improved technology, the methods and procedures used to realize standards have evolved. Discussed is the evolution of radiation standards leading to the current method of realizing them. In addition, we discuss the methods used to calibrate optical devices using these standards.


  • luminous flux; incandescence;
  • fluorescence;
  • candela;
  • luminous intensity;
  • integrating sphere;
  • lamp;
  • detector-based;
  • blackbody;
  • discharge tube;
  • arc tube;
  • optical sources;
  • optical standards