Optical EngineeringUsing small glass catalogs
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Changes in glass catalogs from the major manufacturers, Schott, Ohara, Hoya, Corning, and Summita, are a future certainty. The ongoing efforts of these companies to eliminate arsenic, lead, and other environmentally unfriendly materials may well have an additional effect on the size of their catalogs also. We should not assume a zero-sum game, however. Environmental concerns may not lead to permanently smaller catalogs, though many have speculated that in the near term this might be so. However, from the designer’s perspective, very small, abbreviated class catalogs, constructed for special purposes, can speed the glass selection process. Several examples will be discussed, based on derivative libraries suggested by Zhang, Shannon, and Walker. Streamlined libraries tailored for special purposes can be used effectively in the latest lens design software. Future software tools may speed this selection process by the use of algorithms that treat the problem as a ‘‘black box,’’ using logic tools derived from probability studies of the patent literature.