Abstract

At the risk of seeming pedantic, I would like to take issue with Robinson (1979) on his use of the word dispersion. From the Futterman (1962) relationship, Robinson shows that pulse broadening due to absorption must be accompanied by dispersion of the velocities of the component wavelengths. While this is certainly true, there is a tendency using this approach to regard dispersion as a by-product of absorption. This is not the case in geometrical optics, where the dispersion of light passing through a prism, for instance, is not produced by absorption, as glass is virtually a loss free medium at optical frequencies.

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