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L6-37. Astigmatism


To demonstrate off-axis astigmatism with a spherical lens.


Bright point source with condenser lens, 20cm focal length lens, 2-mm circular aperture object, and 50 cm focal length lens on optical rail cart with extension rail, hand-held screen.

Setup Time

5 minutes.




A bright point source is focused onto a small circular aperture which acts as the source. The 50cm focal length convex lens then focuses this spot onto a distant screen. If the lens is rotated about 30 degrees it will produce off-axis astigmatism, which can be seen as follows: Keep the screen perpendicular to the optic axis while moving it along the optic axis to see (in order from the lens) (1) the horizontal focus (a vertical line), (2) the waist, and (3) the vertical focus (a horizontal line).


(PIRA 6A65.34)

L. Geometrical Optics

L. Geometrical Optics

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