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Thread: Physicists dispel Rayleigh's curse

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    Default Physicists dispel Rayleigh's curse



    The resolution of an optical system (like a telescope or a camera) is limited by the so-called Rayleigh criterion. An international team, led by Complutense University of Madrid, has broken this limit, showing that it is not a fundamental curse. This opens the door to considerable improvement in resolution and could force the revision of optics textbooks. This research is the culmination of a thrilling race between four groups of scientists around the world.

    Full story at Physicists dispel Rayleigh's curse
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    Default Re: Physicists dispel Rayleigh's curse

    It may yet be a while before the technique is readily and practically available for amateur astronomy.

    Pretty cool stuff, however!
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    Default Re: Physicists dispel Rayleigh's curse

    Quote Originally Posted by OleCuss View Post
    It may yet be a while before the technique is readily and practically available for amateur astronomy.

    Pretty cool stuff, however!
    They don't really go into the specifics in this article, but I have a backlog that I still need to work through, so if I find anything else I'll share it. But this will have all kinds of positive effects, everything from better resolution on KBOs and asteroids, to exoplanets and deep space objects. Assuming the technology can be developed into working prototypes, of course.
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    Default Re: Physicists dispel Rayleigh's curse

    This is way overhyped. The Rayleigh criterion is real physics not some voodoo curse. As far as direct imaging it is completely useless. The improvement can only be seen in digitized data using a data analysis program. The degree of improvement is slight, marginal.

    Furthermore the article makes misleading and false statements. For instance it says an ideal optical system should show a point source imaged as a point. Wrong! Physics requires a point source show as a diffraction disk! Claiming it should show as a point is like claiming a violation of physics.

    Now there are various criteria for resolving the disks shown by two point sources. Rayleigh's is one. Dawes's is another. They differ slightly in the same way that this one does.

    No big deal.

    The idea that this will lead to stunning improvement in resolution is false. A few percent at best. More than that is ruled out by the physics of interference and diffraction.

    If you look at the picture top of the OP article and think about it it becomes clear that the body of the article is misleading and way overhyped.
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    Default Re: Physicists dispel Rayleigh's curse

    So just to be clearer....

    Interference and diffraction are still very much alive. The OPs criterion, the Rayleigh criterion, and Dawes criterion are all different criteria for deciding when the two disks are resolved.

    Rayleigh's criterion is here
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angular_resolution

    The Dawes criterion is here
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawes%27_limit

    They differ a little. This new criterion differs by even less.

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    Default Re: Physicists dispel Rayleigh's curse

    The Wikipedia links above have some errors, unfortunately. A better link on resolution which shows the difference between Dawes and Rayleigh is here

    Telescope resolution

    So Dawes limit was already known to beat the Rayleigh limit. So there.
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    Default Re: Physicists dispel Rayleigh's curse

    I seem to remember Chris Lords publishing a paper on his personal aversion to using the Rayliegh limit for optical systems.. I will have to see if I can find it again.
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    Default Re: Physicists dispel Rayleigh's curse

    Hello n_F_A,

    and thanks for resolving that hype.

    Quote Originally Posted by not_Fritz_Argelander View Post
    This is way overhyped. The Rayleigh criterion is real physics not some voodoo curse. As far as direct imaging it is completely useless. The improvement can only be seen in digitized data using a data analysis program. The degree of improvement is slight, marginal.

    Furthermore the article makes misleading and false statements. For instance it says an ideal optical system should show a point source imaged as a point. Wrong! Physics requires a point source show as a diffraction disk! Claiming it should show as a point is like claiming a violation of physics.
    ...
    The telescopes we are using are from the point of view of the Fourier transforms math the low-pass optics filters with the known resolution limits. Sophistications, like apodizing the aperture may kill the diffraction rings and hence enhancing the contrast, but the resolution does not improve.

    Well, to enhance the resolution, active optical systems for the microscopy have been designed, like ZEISS Microscopy Online Campus | Superresolution Structured Illumination Microscopy , but that's another field of the optics application.

    With the ~λ/D limit(s), the way for us to resolve more with a given aperture D, is to take a blue filter (shorter λ).

    Best regards, and thanks again for the cleanup,

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    Default Re: Physicists dispel Rayleigh's curse

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    I seem to remember Chris Lords publishing a paper on his personal aversion to using the Rayliegh limit for optical systems.. I will have to see if I can find it again.
    That would be interesting indeed. I favor Dawes as more practical myself but even then equally bright doubles only.....
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    Default Re: Physicists dispel Rayleigh's curse

    Quote Originally Posted by j.gardavsky View Post
    Hello n_F_A,

    and thanks for resolving that hype.



    The telescopes we are using are from the point of view of the Fourier transforms math the low-pass optics filters with the known resolution limits. Sophistications, like apodizing the aperture may kill the diffraction rings and hence enhancing the contrast, but the resolution does not improve.

    Well, to enhance the resolution, active optical systems for the microscopy have been designed, like ZEISS Microscopy Online Campus | Superresolution Structured Illumination Microscopy , but that's another field of the optics application.

    With the ~λ/D limit(s), the way for us to resolve more with a given aperture D, is to take a blue filter (shorter λ).

    Best regards, and thanks again for the cleanup,

    JG
    My pleasure. The "criterion for resolution" really dependent on your criteria. Dawes is more permissive (closer separations resolved) than Rayleigh. So the "beats Rayleigh" was already old news in the 19th century.....
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