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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 39, Iss. 34 — Dec. 1, 2000
  • pp: 6519–6521

Normalized Parameter Relating the Spherical Aberration of a Thin Lens to the Diffraction Limit and Fiber Coupling Efficiency

Matt Young  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 39, Issue 34, pp. 6519-6521 (2000)

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In this paper, we calculate the transverse spherical aberration TA of a thin lens and defines a normalized aberration Y equal to TA divided by the theoretical resolution limit. As a rule of thumb, (a) a thin lens that suffers only from spherical aberration may be considered effectively diffraction-limited as long as Y < 1.6. Similarly, (b) the coupling efficiency of a Gaussian beam to a single-mode fiber may be high even when Y > 1.6, and, specifically, (c) the lens need be diffraction-limited only over a radius approximately equal to the radius (to the 1/e-point) of the Gaussian beam.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

Matt Young, "Normalized Parameter Relating the Spherical Aberration of a Thin Lens to the Diffraction Limit and Fiber Coupling Efficiency," Appl. Opt. 39, 6519-6521 (2000)

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  1. F.A. Jenkins, H.E. White, Fundamentals of Optics, 4th ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1976.
  2. LC Martin, Technical Optics, 1, Pitman, London, 1959, p. 114.
  3. Table 1 differs from the tables that I have distributed in annual short courses during the past 20 years. Here, I use image distance l′ and effective F-number l′/D, whereas, in the short courses, I used focal length f′ and F-number f′/D, even for imaging at unit magnification.
  4. Warren M. Smith, Modern Optical Engineering, 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1990.

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