Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A surface whose equation in rectangular coördinates is x / (1 − Ar) + y / (1 − Br) + z / (1 − Cr) = 0.
- n. If upon every central section of a quadric surface be erected a perpendicular at the center, and points be taken on this perpendicular at distances from the center equal to the axes of the section, then the locus of these points will be the wave-surface. It is frequently called Fresnel's wave-surface, to distinguish it from Huygens's wave-surface, which is simply an ellipsoid—the latter being the form of wave-front of a uniaxial crystal, the former that of a biaxial crystal.
“They are also small in size, generally of the exact dimensions of the plate, and therefore the lines of the compositions are not spoiled by contraction; while finally, the touch of the painter's hand upon the wave-surface is far better imitated by mezzotint engraving than by any of the ordinary expedients of line.”
“William Hamilton, of Dublin, who, taking up the theory where Fresnel had left it, arrived at the conclusion that at four special points of the 'wave-surface' in double-refracting crystals, the ray was divided, not into two parts but into an infinite number of parts; forming at these points a continuous conical envelope instead of two images.”
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