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23 September 2015 Alvarez lens systems: theory and applications
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We consider using the Alvarez lens concept to perform focal length change in conventional optical systems. The Alvarez pair are a good example of freeform surfaces that are used to imprint a deformation into the propagating wavefront. In addition, we try to better understand the paraxial theory of each freeform component in building up to a composite lens system. An example dual field of view system in the medium wave infrared is presented. An inherent feature of the Alvarez pair is the axial symmetry breaking due to both the finite air gap between the cubic surfaces and the transverse movement of the pair. This has implications for the wavefront at the image plane. Having developed the first order theory one can better understand misalignment tolerances and how these produce certain wavefront aberrations. Most notably, misalignments lead to simple expressions in terms of the Zernike polynomials.
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James Babington "Alvarez lens systems: theory and applications", Proc. SPIE 9626, Optical Systems Design 2015: Optical Design and Engineering VI, 962615 (23 September 2015);

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