optic[al]=mere spelin'variant[am/e?]or meaning difrent?>usagenote?--史凡 - 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/as I suffer RSI and thus cannot type very well! 08:08, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

The difference between Optical and VisualEdit

Is there a difference between Optical and Visual? The definition of both seems to be "of or relating to sign"? Are they full synonyms or is there a nuance? Is there a time when you use one and not the other?--Maha Odeh 20:33, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Good question. Optical is used to refer to matters related to handling the flow of light, including such things as fiber optics, lenses, eyeglasses, the flow of light in the human eye to the retina. Visual covers more the image that is produced by the light, eg, what happens after the light has hit the retina. We should make that clear in the entries. Don't the usage examples convey it? DCDuring TALK 19:29, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

There is a difference, and I suggest we add another definition to this page. The word "Optical" in the purely physical sense, refers to the ray nature of propagating radiation. We routinely talk about "infra-red optics" and even "T-Ray optics" and "Microwave optics". I just had a look at the Oxford definition, and I believe it supports my proposal. --Adinov (talk) 05:53, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

I propose two new definitions as follows: 1. Of or pertaining to the ray nature of light (or electromagnetic radiation) 2. Of or pertaining to the ray nature of any kind of radiation

This may also justify adding further definitions to related words. --Adinov (talk) 05:57, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Return to "optical" page.