Abstract

<p>A search for a universal-focus lens has led to a new class of optical elements. These are called axicons. There are many different kinds of axicons but probably the most important one is a glass cone. It may be either transmitting or reflecting. Axicons form a continuous straight line of images from small sources.</p> <p>One application is in a telescope. The usual spherical objective is replaced by a cone. This axicon telescope is in focus for targets from a foot or so to infinity without the necessity of moving any parts. It can be used to view simultaneously two or more small sources placed along the line of sight.</p> <p>If a source of light is suitably added to the telescope it becomes an autocollimator. Like ordinary auto-collimators it can be used to determine the perpendicularity of a mirror. In addition, it can simultaneously act as a telescope for a point target which may be an illuminated pinhole in the mirror.</p> <p>The axicon autocollimator is also a projector which projects a straight line of images into space.</p>

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