lecture 32

lecture 32 - 27.6 Resolving Power Resolving Power The...

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27.6 Resolving Power Resolving Power : The ability of an optical instrument to distinguish (or resolve ) two closely-spaced objects. Look at the headlights of a car as it backs away from you to a far distance: When the car is close, it is easy to distinguish two separate headlights. But as it gets farther away, it’s harder to resolve the two headlights. Finally, there is a certain point when the car gets even farther away, that we can’t distinguish the two headlights clearly. This inability to resolve two closely-spaced objects is due to diffraction .
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We have light passing thru openings, i.e. my eyes, a telescope, a microscope – any optical instrument – and it’s diffraction thru these apertures that limits my resolution. The screen to the left shows the diffraction pattern for light from one object passing thru small circular opening Notice there is a a small circular opening. Notice there is a central bright fringe and alternating bright and dark fringes. θ locates the angle from the central bright fringe to the first dark fringe. If the screen distance is much larger than the width of the circular aperture ( D ), then: λ 22 . 1 sin = D
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Now, if we have two objects, we would get the following: ach object creates a diffraction Each object creates a diffraction pattern on the screen.
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lecture 32 - 27.6 Resolving Power Resolving Power The...

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