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achromat

A usually two-element lens that is corrected to bring two specified or distinct wavelengths to a common focal point. Note 1: The term “achromatic” literally means “without color.” This is not strictly true, however. Early lenses consisted of only a single element, and therefore could bring only a single wavelength to a given focal point; i.e., they suffered from what is termed “chromatic aberration.” The invention of lenses with two elements meant that two distinct wavelengths could be brought to a common focus. This represented a vast improvement over the single-element lens; hence the designation “achromat(ic).” Note 2: The residual chromatic aberration manifested in the image produced by an achromat (and other multi-element lenses) is usually referred to as the “secondary spectrum.” Synonyms achromatic doublet, achromatic lens.


Glossary