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Record 1 2015-10-07


Subject field(s)
  • Optics
  • Biophysics
  • Scientific Measurements and Analyses

Abbe's diffraction limit amounts for the shortest wavelength of visible light to about 200 nm [nanometers] for the lateral resolution. Smaller details cannot be resolved.


The light microscope's limited spatial resolution was first recognized by Ernst Abbe at the end of the 19th century ... Abbe found that objects closer than about one-third of the wavelength of light could not be distinguished, because this is the smallest focal spot size that is allowed by diffraction when focusing with a lens of high numerical aperture.


  • Optique
  • Biophysique
  • Mesures et analyse (Sciences)

Le microscope est depuis longtemps utilisé pour observer le monde vivant à petite échelle. [...] en dessous de 250 nanomètres (un quart de micron), les objets ne sont plus que des taches, car la lumière renvoyée par chaque point de l'objet ne peut être distinguée de celle du voisin, elles se confondent en s'élargissant. C'est la limite de diffraction d’Abbe, posée par Ernst Abbe en 1873.


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