Applied optics, in a general sense, should have a very broad connotation, including all branches of optics that have been found useful to industry, and on this basis it should certainly embrace spectroscopy, interferometry, photometry, colorimetry, polarimetry, and, in fact, virtually all of optics. This wide use of optics is indicative of the manner in which the major portions of many branches of science have been attracted into industry and have become of commercial importance during the past half century. However, telescopes, microscopes, and photographic objectives were the principal optical instruments used by industry or constructed in quantity prior to 1900 or 1920 and, consequently, the term applied optics is generally restricted to the science of designing, building, and testing optical instruments.

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