A mixture of carbon bisulphide vapour and nitric oxide burns with a very intense blue-coloured flame, which is very rich in the violet or actinic rays.
Photography is based on chemical action induced by luminous rays; apart from this practical application there are many other cases in which actinic rays occasion chemical actions; these are treated in the article Photochemistry.
The word actinometer is now usually applied to instruments for measuring the actinic or chemical effect of luminous rays; their action generally depends upon photochemical changes.
This artifice is specially adopted in objectives for astronomical photography ("pure actinic achromatism").
On this account the lines D and G' are united for ordinary photographic objectives; the optical as well as the actinic image is chromatically inferior, but both lie in the same place; and consequently the best correction lies in F (this is known as the " actinic correction " or " freedom from chemical focus ").
The need is urgent of fixing a scale, and defining standards of actinic brightness; but it has not yet been successfully met.