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von Kim1983 (UN), 2010-09-05, 09:49  like dislike  Spam?  
Good morning,
The term Fahrstrahl is used in celestial mechanics (e.g. Keppler's 2nd law) with the meaning 'radius vector'. Here, however, I have it in optics, and it does mean 'ray', but which ray?
The context is optical waveguides and spectrographs. Would it be 'the diffracted ray' as against the 0-order 'central ray', so to speak?
I know this is not much context, but the text is somewhat confidential. If nobody can answer based on the above, I'll try to find a small chunk of text that contains the term but is not too revealing about the document as a whole.
von chicken, 2010-09-05, 09:57  like dislike  Spam?  88.65.211....
force is a vector,  light travels in rays i.e. we calculate it that way; I guess your text deals with light refraction
Google: "position vector" optics diffraction  #540200
von Kornelius (DE), Last modified: 2010-09-05, 10:38  like dislike  Spam?  
"Ortsvektor" ist ein mathematischer Begriff und für verschiedene physikalische Sachverhalte sinnvoll verwendbar. Er wird dann oft "Fahrstrahl" genannt. Begrifflich besteht zwischen beiden Bezeichnungen kein Unterschied
von chicken, 2010-09-05, 10:09  like dislike  Spam?  88.65.211....
ok I concede it responds to gravity as well    :-)))
Position/radius vector v. Fahrstrahl  #540212
von Kim1983 (UN), 2010-09-05, 12:45  like dislike  Spam?  
Thank you, Kornelius and chicken.
Ortsvektor=position vector, Radiusvektor=radius vector, and there is no question that they mean the same thing.
If one is to believe Wikipedia,
Wikipedia(DE): Ortsvektor (scroll down to Himmelsmechanik),
Fahrstrahl is subtly different in that it is a line segment (Strecke), and perhaps paradoxically not a ray.
I expect 'radius vector' won't be wrong in my context, or at least will be understood by the reader, but this point (no pun intended) is bugging me.
There's the "focal radius" in a conic: a line segment from a focus to any point on the conic.   #540213
von MichaelK, 2010-09-05, 12:50  like dislike  Spam?  70.104.190....
Focal radius  #540242
von Kim1983 (UN), 2010-09-05, 18:35  like dislike  Spam?  
That's very interesting, Michael, thanks.
It certainly corresponds to Keppler's Fahrstrahl for an object moving along an elipse around the sun (I can't remember whether Keppler's law can be generalised to a non-periodic object approaching the sun along a parabola and then going off again, but I shouldn't be surprised if it can).
I will read those links for a better understanding of the situation in diffraction and whether it is the same as in my text.

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