Abstract

Of the commonly used chromatic dispersion equations, only the Sellmeier and the Cauchy equations seem to be theoretically based. Cauchy’s equation is derived from the Sellmeier equation, is simpler to implement, and was found to give an excellent fit to published refractive-index data of the human eye. We used Cauchy’s equation to model the chromatic difference in refraction of the Gullstrand number 1 schematic eye with a gradient-index lens. To estimate the dispersion at different refractive-index levels within the lens, a single dispersion equation at one nominal refractive index was linearly scaled. This scaling was justified after exploring the effect of mean refractive index on dispersion by using Sellmeier’s equation and finding that a dispersion equation for one wavelength is just a linearly scaled version of the dispersion equation at any other wavlength. Because Cauchy’s equation is theoretically based and gives excellent fit to data in the visible spectrum, it can be used to extrapolate results into the near infrared with confidence.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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