Spherical Abberation Problem Solved - After 2000 Years

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Spherical Abberation Problem Solved - After 2000 Years

#1  Postby Alan B » Jul 09, 2019 8:59 am

Spherical Abberation
Goodbye Aberration: Physicist Solves 2,000-Year-Old Optical Problem

Image

The Problem
You see, lenses are made from spherical surfaces. The problem arises when light rays outside the center of the lens or hitting at an angle can’t be focused at the desired distance in a point because of differences in refraction.
Which makes the center of the image sharper than the corners. Which leads to countless YouTube reviews on lenses. And countless hours of watch time. And makes advertisers and YouTubers happy.
In his 1690 book, Treatise on Light, astronomer Christiaan Huygens points out that both Isaac Newton (the greatest scientist of all time) and Gottfried Leibniz (the last universal genius) tried to solve the problem, but couldn’t:

As has in fact occurred to two prominent Geometricians, Messieurs Newton and Leibnitz, with respect to the problem of the figure of glasses for collecting rays when one of the surfaces is given.
It is appropriate to mention that Newton invented a telescope that solved the chromatic aberration, but not the spherical aberration.
...snip...
The Solution
Fast forward to 2018 when Héctor A. Chaparro-Romo, a doctoral student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), who had been trying to solve this problem for 3 years, invited Rafael G. González-Acuña, a doctoral student from Tec de Monterrey, to help him solve the problem.
At first, González did not want to devote resources to what he knew to be a millenary, impossible to solve problem. But upon the insistence of Héctor Chaparro, he decided to accept the challenge.
After months of working on solving the problem, Rafael González recalls, “I remember one morning I was making myself a slice of bread with Nutella, when suddenly, I said out loud: Mothers! It is there!”
(Note: “Madres” is a Spanish word that means, of course, many moms. But in this context it is equivalent to the expression “Holy sh*t!” in English, or, to a lesser extent, “Eureka!” in Greek.)
He then ran to his computer and started programming the idea. When he executed the solution and saw that it worked, he says he jumped all over the place. It is unclear whether he finished eating the Nutella bread.
Afterwards, the duo ran a simulation and calculated the efficacy with 500 rays, and the resulting average satisfaction for all examples was 99.9999999999%. Which, of course, is great news for gear reviewers on YouTube, as they will still be able to argue about the 0.0000000001% of sharpness difference among lens brands.


I'll be placing an order for new camera lenses soon (and a new astro telescope)...
This could also mean a marked improvement for spectacle wearers!
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Re: Spherical Abberation Problem Solved - After 2000 Years

#2  Postby jaydot » Jul 09, 2019 9:15 am

phew! so glad that's sorted.
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Re: Spherical Abberation Problem Solved - After 2000 Years

#3  Postby Hermit » Jul 09, 2019 10:50 am

Who, if anyone, formulated the spherical aberration problem 2000 years ago?
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Re: Spherical Abberation Problem Solved - After 2000 Years

#4  Postby Cito di Pense » Jul 09, 2019 11:08 am

Hermit wrote:Who, if anyone, formulated the spherical aberration problem 2000 years ago?


Nobody. Why are you concerned that somebody formulated the spherical aberration problem 2000 years ago because somebody at petapixel.com wrote a headline for an online article? It's something you could have figured out in a few minutes by investigating the reference, especially given that geometric optics was not a science until many centuries later.

Maybe the problem is 2000 years old, but telescopic lenses have not been around that long.
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Re: Spherical Abberation Problem Solved - After 2000 Years

#5  Postby Hermit » Jul 09, 2019 12:45 pm

It was a rhetorical question. Saved typing out as many words as you did.
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Re: Spherical Abberation Problem Solved - After 2000 Years

#6  Postby Cito di Pense » Jul 09, 2019 12:52 pm

Hermit wrote:It was a rhetorical question. Saved typing out as many words as you did.


Fair enough; even then, you've not done more than make fun of a headline at petapixel.com. Low-hanging fruit, and all.

https://insidedefense.com/insider/calculated-ambiguity
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Re: Spherical Abberation Problem Solved - After 2000 Years

#7  Postby Hermit » Jul 09, 2019 1:06 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:...you've not done more than make fun of a headline at petapixel.com. Low-hanging fruit, and all.

Well spotted. You may add one silver star to your tally on the fridge door now.
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Re: Spherical Abberation Problem Solved - After 2000 Years

#8  Postby theropod » Jul 09, 2019 4:52 pm

Whatever.

Now a huge refracting telescope can be made with a single piece of glass, or maks/cats could have smaller primary mirrors. Eyepieces! Fuck around this could give us some stupid good pure optical resolution. How about big glass for prime focus camera folks? Microscopes? Periscopes? If the glass can be shaped correctly across scale the benefits to amateur star gazers, camera folk and maybe even for those needing corrective vision this could be a game changer.

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Re: Spherical Abberation Problem Solved - After 2000 Years

#9  Postby LucidFlight » Jul 09, 2019 6:00 pm

What are the properties of Nutella on bread that help solve the problem?
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Re: Spherical Abberation Problem Solved - After 2000 Years

#10  Postby laklak » Jul 09, 2019 6:04 pm

It's got hazel nuts in it, and hazel nuts are sort of spherical.

That's my guess.
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Re: Spherical Abberation Problem Solved - After 2000 Years

#11  Postby Cito di Pense » Jul 09, 2019 6:04 pm

LucidFlight wrote:What are the properties of Nutella on bread that help solve the problem?


What you really have to worry about is when that Nutella passes through its glass transition temperature. The transition is not detectable optically because of other properties of Nutella.
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Re: Spherical Abberation Problem Solved - After 2000 Years

#12  Postby theropod » Jul 09, 2019 6:25 pm

LucidFlight wrote:What are the properties of Nutella on bread that help solve the problem?


Maybe he squirted some out of a squeeze bottle in a similar shape to the cross section image? Good question.

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