Résumé
In optics, any optical instrument or system a microscope, telescope, or camera has a principal limit to its resolution due to the physics of diffraction. An optical instrument is said to be diffraction-limited if it has reached this limit of resolution performance. Other factors may affect an optical system's performance, such as lens imperfections or aberrations, but these are caused by errors in the manufacture or calculation of a lens, whereas the diffraction limit is the maximum resolution possible for a theoretically perfect, or ideal, optical system. The diffraction-limited angular resolution, in radians, of an instrument is proportional to the wavelength of the light being observed, and inversely proportional to the diameter of its objective's entrance aperture. For telescopes with circular apertures, the size of the smallest feature in an image that is diffraction limited is the size of the Airy disk. As one decreases the size of the aperture of a telescopic lens, diffraction proportionately increases. At small apertures, such as f/22, most modern lenses are limited only by diffraction and not by aberrations or other imperfections in the construction. For microscopic instruments, the diffraction-limited spatial resolution is proportional to the light wavelength, and to the numerical aperture of either the objective or the object illumination source, whichever is smaller. In astronomy, a diffraction-limited observation is one that achieves the resolution of a theoretically ideal objective in the size of instrument used. However, most observations from Earth are seeing-limited due to atmospheric effects. Optical telescopes on the Earth work at a much lower resolution than the diffraction limit because of the distortion introduced by the passage of light through several kilometres of turbulent atmosphere. Advanced observatories have started using adaptive optics technology, resulting in greater image resolution for faint targets, but it is still difficult to reach the diffraction limit using adaptive optics.
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Diffraction-limited system
In optics, any optical instrument or system a microscope, telescope, or camera has a principal limit to its resolution due to the physics of diffraction. An optical instrument is said to be diffraction-limited if it has reached this limit of resolution performance. Other factors may affect an optical system's performance, such as lens imperfections or aberrations, but these are caused by errors in the manufacture or calculation of a lens, whereas the diffraction limit is the maximum resolution possible for a theoretically perfect, or ideal, optical system.
Pouvoir de résolution
Le pouvoir de résolution, ou pouvoir de séparation, pouvoir séparateur, résolution spatiale, résolution angulaire, exprime la capacité d'un système optique de mesure ou d'observation – les microscopes, les télescopes ou l'œil, mais aussi certains détecteurs, particulièrement ceux utilisés en – à distinguer les détails. Il peut être caractérisé par l'angle ou la distance minimal(e) qui doit séparer deux points contigus pour qu'ils soient correctement discernés.
Onde évanescente
L'onde plane évanescente est une onde plane particulière dont l'amplitude varie exponentiellement dans une direction orthogonale à sa direction de propagation. En supposant l'onde monochromatique, on peut en donner une expression mathématique utilisant la notation exponentielle : Le vecteur d'onde est un vecteur complexe. Sa partie réelle, , et sa partie imaginaire , sont deux vecteurs orthogonaux. La direction de propagation de l'onde est celle de la partie réelle.
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