Aggregate ray – Definition & Meaning

The term “aggregate ray” may not be familiar to everyone, but it is an important concept in the field of optics. It refers to a type of light ray that is composed of multiple individual rays that have been combined together. This article will explore the definition and meaning of aggregate ray, as well as its origins, associations, synonyms, and antonyms.


An aggregate ray is a beam of light that is made up of many individual rays that have been combined together. Each individual ray may have a different direction or wavelength, but together they form a single beam of light. Aggregate rays are often used in optical systems to achieve specific effects, such as diffraction or interference.


The term “aggregate ray” comes from the Latin word “aggregare,” which means “to collect into a flock or herd.” The concept of aggregate rays was first introduced by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel in the 19th century, as part of his work on the wave theory of light.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The meaning of aggregate ray can vary slightly depending on the dictionary. In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is defined as “a ray of light composed of a number of simple rays that have traversed different paths and that may differ in phase.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a ray of light composed of a number of separate rays that have been brought to a common focus.”


Aggregate rays are often associated with diffraction and interference, which are phenomena that occur when light waves interact with each other. They are also used in optical systems such as telescopes, microscopes, and cameras to achieve specific effects.


Some synonyms for aggregate ray include composite ray, complex ray, and multiple ray.


There are no direct antonyms for aggregate ray, but it could be contrasted with a single ray of light that has not been combined with others.

The same root words

The root word “aggregate” comes from the Latin word “aggregare,” which means “to collect into a flock or herd.” Other words that share this root include aggregation, aggregated, and aggregator.

Example Sentences

Here are some example sentences that use the term aggregate ray:

  • The telescope uses an aggregate ray to capture and focus light from distant stars.
  • Diffraction patterns are created when an aggregate ray interacts with a narrow slit.
  • The camera lens is designed to split an incoming light beam into multiple aggregate rays for sharper focus.
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