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We are now in a position to begin a study of the physical optical aspects of image formation. The developments in this and the next few chapters will draw heavily on the results of the preceding chapters. All results will be derived from wave theoretical considerations. From this approach, the customary geometric laws relating to object and image distances, magnification, etc., are easily derived. More important, however, is the fact that quality limitations are immediately evident from such a development. The word “quality” is used here to describe the subjective impression. Considerable discussion will be necessary before we are able to replace the subjective quality with some physically defined, meaningful, and measurable quantity. Let us start the problem of image formation from the physical optical point of view by considering objects that are incoherently illuminated.
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