resolving power


Definition of resolving power

1 : the ability of an optical system to form distinguishable images of objects separated by small angular distances
2 : the ability of a photographic film or plate to reproduce the fine detail of an optical image

Examples of resolving power in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Using a technique called very long baseline interferometry, the telescope achieves the resolving power of a telescope as big as the Earth. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "the first image of a black hole," 7 Apr. 2020 There is also an observatory on the 3-acre grounds, which houses a 14-inch reflector telescope that rivals Griffith Observatory in resolving power, the agents said. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "The Force Is Strong Inside This L.A. Mansion With Star Wars-Themed Basement," 22 Jan. 2020 Strong clues indicate that the truly fundamental constituents of the universe lie at a distance scale 10 million billion times smaller than the resolving power of the LHC. Quanta Magazine, "A Fight for the Soul of Science," 16 Dec. 2015 The giant telescope will have 10 times the resolving power of the Hubble Space Telescope, revealing distant galaxies, the birth of stars, and the compositions of exoplanet atmospheres—a key field of research in the search for extraterrestrial life. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The Deep Space Eye in the Desert," 14 Feb. 2018 Science also attempts to understand reality by increasing the resolving power of instruments, training the mind to grasp complex relations, and decomposing systems into ever-smaller components. Matthieu Ricard, The Atlantic, "Neuroscience Has a Lot To Learn from Buddhism," 17 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'resolving power.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of resolving power

1879, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of resolving power was in 1879

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Cite this Entry

“Resolving power.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

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resolving power


Medical Definition of resolving power

: the ability of an optical system to form distinguishable images of objects separated by small angular distances

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