Glossary of Medical Terms

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ABBE THEORY OF IMAGE FORMATION

Abbe's theory is based on the fact that a non-self-luminous particle, which is illuminated by an extraneous source, gives rise to diffracted easy rays, in addition to the dioptric pencil. He stated that to form a good microscopical image as much of the diffracted rays as possible must be intercepted by the objective. With closely ruled lines, his theory is easily demonstrated by observing the back lens of the objective, for here the diffracted rays can be observed directly if the aperture diaphragm is closed. It can be shown that, when the illumination is arranged to exclude the diffracted images, resolution is lost.
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