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Glossary

Analog:
The traditional method of modulating radio signals so that they can carry             information. Amplitude modulation (AM) and frequency modulation (FM) are the two most common methods of analog modulation.

Anisotropic:
Pertaining to a material whose electrical or optical properties vary with (a) the direction of propagation of a traveling wave or with (b) different polarizations of a traveling wave. Note 1: Anisotropy is exhibited by non-cubic crystals, which have different refractive indices for lightwaves propagating in different directions or with different polarizations. Note 2: Anisotropy may be induced in certain materials under mechanical strain.

Backlighting:
A technique used to make flat-panel displays easier to read. A backlit display is illuminated so that the foreground appears sharper in contrast with the background.

Chiral Nematic:
Liquid crystal molecules that have chiral centers will align next to each other at a slightly skewed angle. The repetition of this alignment along several molecules produces a helical configuration with a rotating director that spirals as it moves through the line of molecules.

Convergence:
The ability of the three electron beams to come together at a single spot on the surface of the CRT.

DDC:
Display Data Channel, a VESA standard for communication between a monitor and a video adapter. Using DDC, a monitor can inform the video card about its properties, such as maximum resolution and color depth. The video card can then use this information to ensure that the user is presented with valid options for configuring the display.

Indium Tin Oxide:
Also known as ITO. It is a mixture of indium(III) oxide (In2O3) and tin(IV) oxide (SnO2), typically 90% In2O3, 10% SnO2 by weight. ITO is mainly used to make transparent conductive coatings for electronic displays, and heat-reflecting coatings for architectural, automotive, and light bulb glasses.

Mesophase:
Intermediate phase in between the solid and liquid states.

Nematic phase:
The phase where the liquid crystal molecules have no positional order but tendency to point in the same direction.

Orientation:
Liquid crystals are arranged in a manner where they are all pointing to the same direction.

Pixel:
A pixel on a monitor is a number of red, green, and blue phosphor dots. These dots are "excited" to varying degrees by the monitor's three electron guns, and the results mix additively to generate a specific color. By manipulating large numbers of pixels in precise ways, patterns emerge to make up an identifiable picture.

Polarization:
The process of transforming unpolarized light into polarized light is known as polarization.

Polarized:
The phenomenon where the waves of light or other radiation are confined to vibrate in a certain single direction.

Raster:
Pattern of horizontal scanning lines: the pattern of horizontal scanning lines made by an electron beam on the surface of a cathode-ray tube that create the image that appears on a television or computer screen.

Refresh Rate:
The image on your computer monitor doesn't just appear fully formed on the screen's phosphors: it's drawn line by line with beams fired from three electron guns at the back of the CRT. (The three guns are for different colors--red, green, and blue. The colors blend to build all the colors you see.) The frequency at which they redraw the image is called the refresh rate, and it's an important measure of how steady the image will appear.

Resolution:
A monitor's resolution refers to the number of pixels in the whole image, because the number of dots per inch varies depending on the screen's dimensions.

TTL:
Transistor-Transistor Logic, a common type of digital circuit in which the output is derived from two transistors. The first semiconductors using TTL were developed by Texas Instruments in 1965. The term is commonly used to describe any system based on digital circuitry, as in TTL monitor.

Video Adapter:
A board that plugs into a personal computer to give it display capabilities. The display capabilities of a computer, however, depend on both the logical circuitry (provided in the video adapter) and the display monitor. A monochrome monitor, for example, cannot display colors no matter how powerful the video adapter.

Viewing angle:
The range of horizontal and vertical angles for acceptable contrast.

VESA:
Video Electronics Standards Association: an international non-profit organization established in 1989 to set and support industry-wide interface standards designed for the PC, workstation, and other computing environments. The VESA Local Bus (VL-Bus) standard - introduced in 1992 and widely used before the advent of PCI - was a 32-bit local bus standard compatible with both ISA and EISA cards.

 

 

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