Airy disk

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Airy disk: light distribution in Airy disk image of single point source (left) and two just resolvable point sources

Airy disk

(air -ee) The bright disklike image of a point source of light, such as a star, as seen in an optical system with a circular aperture. The disk is formed by diffraction effects in the instrument and is surrounded by faint diffraction rings that are only seen under perfect conditions (see illustration). The disk diameter, first calculated by George Airy in 1834, is the factor limiting the angular resolution of the telescope.

Airy disk

[¦er·ē ¦disk]
(optics)
The bright, diffuse central spot of light formed by an optical system imaging a point source of light.
References in periodicals archive ?
Peak to Valley RMS difference Strehl Energy in Energy In difference (wavelengths) ratio Airy disc surrounding (correction (percent) diffraction error) rings (wavelengths) (percent) 0 0 1 84 16 1/16 1/54 0.
However, one should note that, in the single pinhole experiments, at the image plane of the lens the zero light intensity outside the central Airy disc of the pinhole image is a result of destructive quantum interference.