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Cardinal Points

Author: the photonics expert

Definition: a set of points which characterize the function of an optical element or a group of elements in Gaussian optics

Category: article belongs to category general optics general optics

DOI: 10.61835/vhm   Cite the article: BibTex plain textHTML

Various types of cardinal points are defined in Gaussian optics for characterizing the optical function of a single optical element or a group of such elements:

The cardinal points can be calculated from the ABCD matrix, and vice versa. They are useful, for example, when geometrically constructing images of objects.

According to the basic assumptions of Gaussian optics, the rays are considered for the limiting case of small angles against the optical axis. If parallel incoming rays are calculated for a wider range of offsets, for example, will generally not exactly meet in a focal point.

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