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An optical coating is one or more thin layers of material deposited on an optical component, such as a lens or a mirror. The coating alters the way in which the component reflects and transmits light. Partially reflective coatings are a type of optical coating designed for application where only a portion of light shall be reflected, and are used for beamsplitters and other components of various kinds. By controlling the thickness and density of a coating, light reflectivity and transmission can be tailored for various scientific applications.