Abstract

In the studies on optical diffraction in the presence of aberrations, it is normal practice to consider only one aberration at a time. The tolerance limits and all other important properties are determined on the basis of the presence of a single aberration despite the fact that most aberrations are normally present in an actual system. The present paper endeavors to look for the combined effect of a group of residual Seidel aberrations. A classical diffraction setup is used, in which the diffracting aperture (circular) is supposed to have primary spherical aberration, primary coma, and primary astigmatism and is illuminated with the fundamental mode (TEM00) of a laser beam. This illuminating laser beam is represented by the modal function ψ00 (c,ρ), which is the lowest-order solution of the Fredholm integral equation of the second kind. A relatively simple treatment is presented for this complicated problem. The diffraction of a uniform beam is also considered side by side. The isophote diagram of the diffracted field of a laser beam as well as that of a uniform beam under the joint influence of three important aberrations is presented for the first time known to us. Many interesting observations have been made from the various numerical results obtained. It is noted, for example, that the combined effect of all the residual aberrations of a system could be more severe than expected and that new restrictions should be imposed on all individual aberrations to compensate for their combined effect.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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