from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The ratio of the total amount of radiation, as of light, reflected by a surface to the total amount of radiation incident on the surface.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun physics The ratio of the flux reflected to that incident on a surface

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the fraction of radiant energy that is reflected from a surface


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Perhaps colours are tied in some intimate way to intrinsic or extrinsic physical properties of the surfaces of things, such as reflectance properties.

    Aesthetic Judgment

  • It turns out that the aerosols and particulates we emit tend to increase the reflectance (albedo) of the planet; if in fact there was more warming early in the 20th century than later in the century, the reason may be that late in the century we put more sulfur oxides into the atmosphere.

    How to Fight Global Warming, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Shape includes things such as nose size or plumpness of lips, while reflectance includes things such as facial lightness, darkness and color, such as red lips or shadowed eyes.

    What makes a face appealing to the opposite sex?

  • The investigators found that men typically want women's faces to have feminine shape and feminine reflectance (such as plump lips and wide eyes), while women typically want men's faces to have masculine reflectance (such as swarthier skin) but a feminine shape.

    What makes a face appealing to the opposite sex?

  • The computer model tested 50 "dimensions" of facial features, which were divided into two categories — shape and reflectance.

    What makes a face appealing to the opposite sex?

  • Surface reflectance values exhibit large geographic variation (Figure 1).


  • Since mean cloudiness varies geographically with lowest values observed in the subtropics and highest values in the mid - to high-latitudes, the variation of surface reflectance has a significant impact on the distribution of absorbed solar radiation at the surface.


  • The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) established as part of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) has been collecting surface and atmospheric reflectance data since 1983.


  • The reflectivity of the Earth or any body is referred to as its albedo, defined as the ratio of light reflected to the light received from a source, expressed as a number between zero (total absorption) and one (total reflectance).

    Solar radiation

  • Atmospheric reflectance principally varies with dust concentration, the zenith angle of the Sun, and the type and/or amount of cloud cover.



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