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Physics 425L Optics Laboratory Spherical Aberration

In this lab you will study spherical aberration of lenses and how to minimize it.

Introduction

To derive:

1

s

o

+ 1

s

i

=

( n l 1)( 1 1 )

R 1

R

2

(1)

one makes the paraxial ray approximation. In this approximation all rays are close to the optical axis and they make small angles with respect to the lens. Thus the following, simplifying approximations may be made: sinθ =θ and cosθ =1. However, one must remember that the resulting equation (1) is an approximation to reality, and the further the system is from the paraxial approximation, the worse equation (1) will be when compared to reality. If the next higher order terms (e.g. sin θ=θ - θ 3 /3!) are retained and the result would be what is called, 3 rd order theory, which has 5 corrections to equation (1). These 5 corrections are known collectively as Seidel (or third-order) aberrations, and each one has a name. They are: spherical aberration, coma, astigmatism, curvature of field and distortion. In this lab we will concern ourselves exclusively with spherical aberration.

Spherical aberration for a single surface Consider an object, a distance s o away from a single refracting surface (figure 1). When third order theory is used, one finds that rays further from the optical axis focus sooner than rays closer to the optical axis.

The result of third order theory is:

 n 1 + n 2 ( n 2 − n 1 ) + [ h 2 n 2 R 1 1 1 − n 2 − n 1 s o s ih = R 2 fn 2 ( s o + R ) 2 ( R n 1 s o

)]

(2)

,where s o is the object distance, R the radius of curvature, h the height of the ray above (or below) the optical axis, s ih is the image distance for a ray of height h, and f is the focal length in the paraxial approximation. Notice that in the limit of small h, when we can ignore the h 2 term, the above equation reduces to the paraxial ray formula, equation (1).

Spherical aberration for a thin lens One measure of spherical aberration for a lens is longitudinal spherical aberration (LSA). LSA the distance between where a ray of light of height, h, is focused and where the paraxial focal plane is (see figure 2), s ip – s ih , where s ih is the image distance for a ray that intersects the lens at a height h and s ip is the image distance for paraxial rays. Thus, LSA=s ip - s ih ,

Third order theory gives the following formula for

1

s

ih

1

s

ip

,

 1 1 h 2 1 s ih − s ip = 8 f 3 n ( n − 1) [( n + 2 n − 1

3

)q 2 + 4 ( n + 1) pq + ( 3n + 2)( n 1) p 2 + n 1 ]

n

(3)

, where f is the focal length (for paraxial rays), n is the index of refraction of the lens, q is the shape factor (defined below) and p is the position factor (define below).

and the position factor is defined as,

q R 2 + R 1 R 2 R 1

The shape factor is defined as,

p s ip s o s ip + s o

.

We can write the LSA in terms of

LSA = s ip s ih [ 1 1 ]

s

ih

s

ip

1

s

ih

1

s

ip

to obtain:

(4)

An examination of equations (3) and (4) demonstrates that, since LSA is dependent upon the shape factor, it will be dependent upon the orientation of the lens. To minimize spherical aberration, equation (3) can be differentiated with respect to q and set equal to zero. The result is:

q

= 2( n 2 1) p

n + 2

.

(5)

Experiment You will measure the longitudinal spherical aberration (LSA) of 3 lenses, a plano- convex lens, a bi-convex lens and a meniscus lens. For each lens you will measure LSA twice, once for each orientation of the lens. For this experiment you will place an object at (virtual) infinity, by using a point light source and placing a lens a distance f away from the point light source (see figure). IMPORTANT-The light source is delicate, and already aligned. Please do not touch it. If you believe there is a problem with the light source, contact the Professor or the TA.

The light leaving lens 5 (large, achromat) will be collimated, the (virtual) image being at infinity. It is important to insure that the light leaving the lens is as collimated as possible. To do this, measure the diameter of the light immediately after it leaves the lens, and compare it to the diameter of the light beam when it reaches the wall. Move the lens so the two diameters are the same. Since the object-lens distance will be the focal length of lens 5, it is a good idea to first estimate the focal length of the lens. (Use the first technique described in lab #1, using the ceiling lights as the object.) Place the optical mask (see figure) after lens 5. This will block all light except for rays of light at specific distances from the optical axis. The first three rays of light are 0.126” away from the optical axis, the second three rays are 0.252”, the third three rays are 0.378” and the fourth three rays are 0.504” away from the optical axis.

Allow light to pass only through the central region and then place lens 6 (plano-convex) on the optical rail, insuring that the lens is normal to the beam and well centered. Use the guide (see figure) to insure that the beam is centered on the lens.

Now place the red filter (see figure below) in between the light source and lens 5, which will yield monochromatic light. It is necessary to use reasonably monochromatic light, otherwise chromatic aberration will make the measurements difficult.

The rays passing through the small central circle of the optical mask are the paraxial rays. Using the camera and monitor find where the paraxial rays focus, and write down the position of the micrometer.

Adjust the mask to allow the first ring of 3 light rays to pass through. Using the translation stage the camera is mounted on, move the camera so that these rays come into focus and record the position of the translation state. The difference between the two positions of the translation stage is the LSA for the rays of height h. Repeat for the other 3 rings of light. When complete, rotate the lens you are testing (lens 6) by 180 o , and repeat what you have just done. Repeat this for lens 1 (bi-convex) and lens 7 (meniscus).

Extra Credit (50 points)

We will now see how the use of additional lenses and their respective orientations can reduce spherical aberration.

Following the some procedure as above, determine the LSA for each side of the 60mm plano-convex lens.

Next, using two, f=125mm plano-convex lenses placed next to one another determine the LSA for each of the four possible orientations (flat face to flat face, curved to curved, flat to curved and curved to flat).

Finally, using a f=125mm meniscus lens and a f=125mm plano-convex lens placed next to one another, find the LSA for each of the four possible orientations.

Which combination reduces spherical aberration best?

Questions

1)

From equation (3) we see that

out, plot

1

s

ih

1

s

ip

versus h 2 .

1

s

ih

1

s

ip

should scale as h 2 . Does it? To find this

2)

Using the focal length, index of refraction, the radii of curvature and equation (3),

calculate

1

s ih

1
s ip h 2

.

Does this agree with the slope of your

1

s

ih

1

s

ip

versus h 2

 3) graph? Does LSA depend upon the orientation of the lens? Why or why not? (Hint: 4) Consider equation (5). ) Which lens has the least LSA? If the object-lens and image-lens distances were 2f, what shape factor would yield a minimum LSA? Which of the lenses you tested would minimize LSA for this situation?

References:

Optics by Eugene Hecht Introduction to Optics by F. L. Pedrotti and L. S. Pedrotti.

Lab Tips:

1)

Do not leave your backpacks, books, etc. on the floor where someone may trip over

them since you will be working in the dark.

2) When you are finished, look around the lab after you’ve shut the lights. You will quickly see if you’ve left something on that should have been shut off.