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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 68, Iss. 7 — Jul. 1, 1978
  • pp: 935–937

Spectral response of the human eye

N. Ben-Yosef and Albert Rose  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 68, Issue 7, pp. 935-937 (1978)

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A thermal activation energy of 1.5 eV for the activation of rhodopsin is needed to reduce the rate of thermal activations below the rate of optical activation at the luminance of the absolute threshold. The thermal energy of 1.5 eV is not inconsistent with the optical threshold energy of about 1.8 eV.

© 1978 Optical Society of America

N. Ben-Yosef and Albert Rose, "Spectral response of the human eye," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 68, 935-937 (1978)

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  1. A. Rose, Vision: Human and Electronic (Plenum, New York, 1975), p. 50.
  2. S. I. Vavilov, Human Eye and the Sun (Pergamon, New York, 1965), p. 96.
  3. R. W. Rodieck, The Vertebrate Retina (Freeman, San Francisco, 1973), p. 62.
  4. Where ultimate limits can be defined, the evidence is that the evolutionary processes have pushed the sensitivity of the sense organs to their limits: The threshold of vision is a few photons, the threshold of hearing is thermal noise, the threshold of chemical detection is a single molecule as in the moth.
  5. D. H. Sliney et al., J. Opt. Soc. Am. 66, 339 (1976).
  6. D. R. Griffin, et at., J. Opt. Soc. Am. 37, 546 (1947).
  7. H. de Vries, Experientia IV/9, 357 (1948).
  8. The rate of the thermally assisted optical transitions was calculated under the assumption that the lower electronic state contains a broad uniform population of vibrational states that are thermally excited. Under this assumption, the total rate of transitions in the retina illuminated by spectral flux of I(v) W cm-2 µm-1 is given by A[(v)/v3]exp (hv/kT), where A is a constant that depends on the number of molecules, the mean spontaneous life time, the energy gap, and the spectral distribution of the light.
  9. S. George, J. Gen. Phys. 35, 495 (1952).
  10. P. R. Lewis, J. Physiol. 130, 45 (1953).
  11. A. Cooper and C. A. Converse, Biochemistry 15, 2978 (1976).

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