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Optics article

  1. May 26, 2005 #1
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    Last edited: May 27, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2005 #2

    OlderDan

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    Most of this article is about the physiology of the eye and potential tissue damage from light. The "optics" part is the different focal lengths of the different colors. That effect is called "chromatic aberration", and the answer to your question is no, the other colors do not all focus on the retina. There is a gradual increase in the focal length as the wavelength increases. This link has a nice diagram illustrating the effect

    http://www.yorku.ca/eye/chroaber.htm

    The reason this happens is that the index of refraction depends on the wavelength. It is the same effect that is responsible for the separation of light of different wavelengths in a prism or a rainbow.

    http://www.yorku.ca/eye/newton.htm

    Chromatic aberration does in fact result in some blurring of the image formed on the retina, and there is a noticable difference in clarity for most people when they put on these glasses. Of course, there is also an effect on the color of what you see, but that is probably very dependent on what "normal" color vision is for you. A lot of us have some level of defective color vision to begin with.
     
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