coefficient(redirected from coefficient of refraction)
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a numerical factor in a literal expression, a known multiplier of an unknown quantity of any degree, or a constant multiplier of a variable quantity. Thus, in the monomial −¾ a2b3 the coefficient is −¾; in the equation x2 + 2px + q = 0 the coefficient of x2 is 1 and the coefficient of x is 2p; and in the formula for the circumference of a circle l = 2πr the coefficient is 2π. In the equation for a straight line y = kx + b, the number k, which expresses the tangent of the angle that the line makes with the Ox axis, is known as the slope. Many of the coefficients in formulas expressing physical laws have special names, for example, the coefficient of friction and the coefficient of light absorption.