This paper discusses the theoretical aspects of the optical properties currently used for determining the extinction coefficients, based on measurements of the transmittances of light. The measurement errors introduced by the spectrophotometric method and by versions of the directed transmittance method are estimated. Data obtained in wide spectral ranges concerning the transmission of light by single-crystal germanium and paratellurite are used to illustrate the points discussed here. © 2005 Optical Society of America

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