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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Analogy to mechanics for introducing optical imaging and teaching about astigmatism
Author(s): Pietro Ferraro

Paper Abstract

A simple analogy between mechanics and optics has been found for introducing imaging properties of lenses. In this analogy the light beam in optics has the role of a sample beam in mechanics; while in optics the light beam is expanded or reduced in size by the power of the lens in mechanics the sample beam suffer elongation when a tensile or compressive stress is applied. Following the analogy the aberration introduced by the lens can be the correspondent nonlinear effect that occurs in mechanics when elastic limit is over. Using the simple developed analogy astigmatism aberration of cylindrical lenses can be explained through a very simple classroom demonstration using rubber stripes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 December 1997
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3190, Fifth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics, (8 December 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.294416
Show Author Affiliations
Pietro Ferraro, Istituto di Cibernetica (Italy) and Istituto Professionale di Stato per l'Industrie e l'An (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3190:
Fifth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics
Christiaan H. F. Velzel, Editor(s)

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