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Optom Vis Sci. 1993 May;70(5):409-13.

Recommended coordinate systems for thin spherocylindrical lenses.

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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland.


Because the set of thin spherocylindrical lenses forms a vector space, any such lens can be expressed in terms of its cartesian coordinates with respect to whatever set of basis lenses we may choose. Two types of cartesian coordinate systems have become prominent, those having coordinates associated with the lens power matrix and those having coordinates associated with the Humphrey Vision Analyzer. This paper emphasizes the value of a particular cartesian coordinate system of the latter type, and the cylindrical coordinate system related to it, by showing how it can simplify the trigonometry of adding lenses and how it preserves symmetry in depicting the sets of all spherical lenses, all Jackson crossed-cylinders, and all cylindrical lenses. It also discusses appropriate coordinates for keeping statistics on lenses and shows that an easy extension of the lens vector space to include general optical systems is not possible.

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