Proceedings PaperBorn, The Innovator
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The essence of innovation, which is the successful combination of need and technical feasibility, was well illustrated by Born in his analogue computer for determining Fourier transforms of a number of different functions which occur in acoustics, optics and X-ray crystal analysis. After a brief description of the first photo-electric Fourier transformer, which involved rotating a sine grating behind a slit to select a range of spatial frequencies, subsequent developments of Born's basic idea are discussed and, in particular, its use in equipment for measurement of the optical transfer function (OTF). The widespread use of this equipment has led to several international exchanges of information on standards relating to image quality and, even after 20 years of intense technical development throughout the world, the performance of OTF systems based on Born's idea has not so far been surpassed.