alignment(redirected from Data structure alignment)
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(in Russian, iustirovka), the aggregate of operations for bringing measuring devices into a condition that ensures the proper functioning of the devices. During alignment, errors that are discovered as a result of the checking or calibration of measuring devices are rectified.
The main alignment operations are as follows: the testing of the condition of a measuring device; the adjustment of the relative position of parts and subassemblies by means of, for example, screws and shims; the elimination of defects by means of grinding, lapping, and honing; and the replacement of individual parts and subassemblies.
The alignment of optical systems consists mainly in the adjustment of the relative position of optical parts—for example, lenses, prisms, and mirrors—in order to align the parts and provide a high image quality. When optical parts are aligned, they are secured by means of screws, pins, or adhesive bonding. The designs of optical systems usually provide for devices that adjust the position of the optical parts and that secure the parts during alignment.
The term “alignment” (iustirovka) is usually employed with respect to measuring instruments, in particular, optomechanical instruments. With respect to machinery, the term “adjustment” (regulirovka) is used more often.
alignment(1) Arranging data to line up with a required format on a screen or printed form.
(2) Arranging data in memory in increments of the fundamental "word size" of the computer in order to improve response times. Although memory may be wasted such as a one-byte variable taking up four bytes to conform to a 32-bit word, data are accessed faster when stored within word boundaries. While only nanoseconds are saved with each byte of memory retrieved, programmers create numerous counters to keep track of internal operations that collectively may be accessed millions of times per second. In the x86 PC world, data alignment in memory is important for parallel multimedia operations (see SSE). See word.