Rayleigh criterion

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criterion, Rayleigh 

Observation first made by Rayleigh that the images of two point objects will be resolved when the central maximum in the diffraction pattern of one image coincides with the first minimum of the diffraction pattern of the other image. For a perfect eye, with a 2 mm pupil, this criterion corresponds to a theoretical tolerance in focusing equal to about 0.075 D. See Airy's disc; diffraction; limit of resolution.
References in periodicals archive ?
Further work on the antenna to improve angular resolution is continuing, and alternative methods of quasi-optical beam steering are being evaluated.
This increased gain allows MMW systems to be highly directional with angular resolutions measured in milliradians in comparison to degrees for an RF system.
Because the focused antenna restricts its detection to a point in space, its angular resolution is shown to be
A great question, because all astronomers know that the wave nature of light limits a telescope's angular resolution. Gaia's two primary mirrors have effective apertures of 1.45 meters (57 inches) and focal lengths of 35 meters.
COBE's angular resolution was only 7[degrees], so its map of CMB temperature variations couldn't discriminate among different cosmic geometries.
Primarily, space researchers hope to overcome the "confusion limit" inherent in poor angular resolution. While light-analyzing detectors have reached the point of being able to exploit nearly all the photons that fall on them, an image's clarity, or optical resolution, depends chiefly upon the diameter of the telescope's aperture.
But more observations are needed to firm up the result, and to that end a new addition to Pierre Auger may soon increase the observatory's efficiency and angular resolution. Heino Falcke (University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands) and his colleagues are constructing a network of radio receivers that will track radio synchrotron radiation emitted by air-shower electrons spiraling through Earth's magnetic field.