limit of resolution
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resolution, limit of
The least separation of two images so that they are seen as separate when viewed through an optical instrument. This is usually evaluated in terms of the separation between the maximum of the intensity distribution curve of the diffraction pattern (or Airy's disc) of the images; it is commonly assumed that two points will be resolved if the centre of one pattern falls on the first dark ring of the other. The limit of resolution is greater the larger the aperture of the system. Syn. resolving power; resolution threshold. See Rayleigh criterion; minimum separable.
Millodot: Dictionary of Optometry and Visual Science, 7th edition. © 2009 Butterworth-Heinemann