Could this help land-based telescopes etc

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makc
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Could this help land-based telescopes etc

Post by makc » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:41 am

This thing? Abstract:
We introduce a method to experimentally measure the monochromatic transmission matrix of a complex medium in optics... We determine the transmission matrix of a thick random scattering sample. We show that this matrix exhibits statistical properties in good agreement with random matrix theory and allows light focusing and imaging through the random medium.

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RJN
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Re: Could this help land-based telescopes etc

Post by RJN » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:27 pm

Could be. It seems to me too early to tell. I think they would have to do a lot of developmental research.

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Chris Peterson
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Re: Could this help land-based telescopes etc

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:03 pm

makc wrote:This thing? Abstract:
We introduce a method to experimentally measure the monochromatic transmission matrix of a complex medium in optics... We determine the transmission matrix of a thick random scattering sample. We show that this matrix exhibits statistical properties in good agreement with random matrix theory and allows light focusing and imaging through the random medium.
I doubt this will have much, if any, impact on the development of telescope optics. The paper doesn't describe the development of any major new optical theory, only a method to measure an already described physical characteristic of optical materials. In particular, they are concerned with inhomogeneous materials, which are not what you typically find in the sort of conventional optics used in telescopes. The refractive components that are used (found in corrector lenses, adaptive optics, and other parts of the telescope) are fabricated from homogeneous materials, and the sort of measurements described in the paper are probably of little practical value to the optician using them.

If this work produces practical results for astronomy, I think it's more likely to be found in cameras and various detectors, where you are much more likely to find exotic heterogeneous optical materials.
Chris

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makc
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Re: Could this help land-based telescopes etc

Post by makc » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:52 pm

what I thought was could this actually be applied to air

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Chris Peterson
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Re: Could this help land-based telescopes etc

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:25 pm

makc wrote:what I thought was could this actually be applied to air
I don't really see how. For short optical paths (which this measurement technique seems to rely on) air is optically homogeneous, and well described. Astronomically, air is of interest over long optical paths, where it isn't homogeneous, but neither is it heterogeneous in the usual optical sense. Theoretically, we already have the ability to perfectly reconstruct an arriving wavefront distorted by the atmosphere; the major limitations on this are practical ones- the resolution of the wavefront detector, the resolution of the correction element, and the amount of processing power required.

I think the work described in this paper could result in better optical instruments and materials at the small scale, but probably not significant changes to conventional telescope optics.
Chris

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