Abstract

A description is given of a focal plane anomaly occurring in a roof prism when parallel light passing through the prism is brought to a focus by a lens. The anomaly consists of a doubling of the image in a direction perpendicular to the roof edge while parallel to the roof edge, the image remains single and sharp. If plane polarized light is allowed to enter the prism, the form of the doubling can be changed by rotating the incident azimuth angle of the entering plane polarized light. Usually in roof prisms, such a doubling is to be associated with a roof angle error. It is the purpose of this paper to show that such is not the case for this particular prism. The following development also suggests that all roof prisms can be expected to possess to some degree these same characteristics. The magnitude of the doubling in unpolarized light and the changes in the doubling in plane polarized light when the incident azimuth angle is rotated will be shown to be a function of the geometry of the prism and its refractive index.

© 1945 Optical Society of America

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