Abstract

A theoretical foundation is developed for relating the statistics of wave distortion to optical resolution. The average resolution of very-long- and very-short-exposure images is studied in terms of the phase- and log-amplitude-structure functions, whose sum we call the “wave-structure function.” Those results which are comparable are in agreement with the findings of Hufnagel and Stanley who studied the average modulation transfer function of long-exposure images. It is found that the average short-exposure resolution can be significantly better than the average long-exposure resolution, but only if the wave distortion does not include substantial intensity variation.

© 1966 Optical Society of America

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