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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Franco Gori
  • Vol. 27, Iss. 2 — Feb. 1, 2010
  • pp: 303–307

Dimensional analysis of visual signals

Gerald Westheimer  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 27, Issue 2, pp. 303-307 (2010)

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The classical radiance–luminance parallelism of units for the measurement of emission and reception of flux applies when visual processing is modeled on principles of physics or engineering. “Energy” has a defined meaning in these disciplines: it is the time integral of flux; the time rate of transfer of flux has the dimension of power. Hence energy is appropriate only when light stimuli are delimited in time, else power is the applicable word. To conform to dimensional specifications in physics, energy models in vision would deal with packets of stimuli of fixed duration, not the time rate of excitation, and have magnitudes expressed in the form of the square root of the integrated squared spatial or spatio-temporal distributions.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(330.1800) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision - contrast sensitivity
(330.4060) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision modeling
(330.5000) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision - patterns and recognition
(330.7310) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision

ToC Category:
Vision, Color, and Visual Optics

Original Manuscript: August 27, 2009
Revised Manuscript: November 24, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: December 21, 2009
Published: January 25, 2010

Virtual Issues
Vol. 5, Iss. 4 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Gerald Westheimer, "Dimensional analysis of visual signals," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 27, 303-307 (2010)

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