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optical activity

noun, Physical Chemistry.
the ability of a substance to rotate the plane of polarization of plane-polarized light.
Origin of optical activity
First recorded in 1875-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for optical activity
Historical Examples
  • The water used must be either distilled water or clear water which has been found to have no optical activity.

  • What importance the question of optical activity of the lactic acid may assume is not definitely known.

    The Book of Cheese

    Charles Thom and Walter Warner Fisk
  • The lyotrope series also influence the optical activity of gelatine sols and the double refraction of strained gels.

    Animal Proteins Hugh Garner Bennett
British Dictionary definitions for optical activity

optical activity

the ability of substances that are optical isomers to rotate the plane of polarization of a transmitted beam of plane-polarized light
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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optical activity in Medicine

optical activity n.
The property of an asymmetrical molecule in solution to rotate the plane of polarized light either clockwise or counterclockwise.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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