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dioptreA measure of lens power. The reciprocal of the focal length in metres. A lens of 1 m focal length has a power of 1 dioptre. A lens of 50 cm focal length has a power of 2 dioptres. One of 33.3 cm focal length has a power of 3 dioptres. Dioptres are used by opticians in preference to focal lengths because they can immediately be added together or subtracted during vision testing.
1. A unit proposed by Monoyer to evaluate the refractive power of a lens or of an optical system. It is equal to the product of the refractive index in the image space and the reciprocal of the focal length in metres. (Symbol: D.) Thus a lens with a focal length (in air) of 1 m has a power of 1 D, one with a focal length of 1/2 m, has a power of 2 D, etc. 2. It is also incorrectly used to represent a unit of curvature, being equal to the reciprocal of the radius of curvature expressed in metres. See curvature of a surface; myodioptre; fundamental paraxial equation; refractive error; vergence.
|Table D3 Relationship between dioptres and focal length (in air)|
|Table D4 Relationship between prism dioptres and degrees|
|degrees (º)||minutes (′)|