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# lecture34 - Diffraction and Limits of Resolution...

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Diffraction and Limits of Resolution

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Diffraction through a circular apertureof diameter D Intensity Diameter D Image on Screen Because of diffraction, images formed by “perfect” optics are fuzzy.
For a circular aperture: Theangle θ from the centreto first dark ring (“angular radius” of central spot) is: θ = 1.22 λ/D radians This is useful in calculating thelimiting resolution of optical instruments (microscopes or telescopes). Thecentral spot is sometimes called the Airy disk

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Quiz: What would thecentral spot look likeif whitelight were used for the beam? A) Blue in thecentre and red around theedge B) Red in the centreand bluearound theedge C) White in thecentreand red around the edge
Example: Sodium light (589nm) is used to view objects under a microscope. If theaperture of theobjectivehas a diameter of 0.9 cm, a) find thelimiting angleof resolution (max resolution) a) if thespacebetween the object and theobjective lens is filled with water (n=1.3), how is the resolution affected?

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Example: If the eye pupil is dilated to a diameter of 5mm, what theminimum distancebetween two point sources that the eye can distinguish at a distanceof 1km?
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