Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Maximum magnification

  1. Mar 9, 2006 #1


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Assuming an object is emitting/reflecting a finite number of photons, then, there is a magnification procedure that will magnify the image of that object so much that the emitted photons will be so dispersed that the image will become unrecognizable. Do we know what this maximum is? How does it vary with respect to the size of the object? Linearly?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    As you spread the reflected photons over a larger surface, the image's signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) goes down. There is no theoretical limit at which proper detection can be done, particularly when you consider taking time-exposures of the image, but the probability of detection errors varies with the SNR.

    - Warren
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Maximum magnification