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  • prism chromatic resolving power

The chromatic resolving power of a prism is invariably stated for the case in which parallel rays of light are incident on the prism, in which the prism is oriented at the angle of minimum deviation at wavelength l, and in which the complete height of the prism is utilized. The corresponding resolving power R1 deduced on the basis of Rayleigh's criterion is:

R = l/Dl = bdn/l

where n is the refractive index of the prism for the wavelength l and b is the maximum thickness of the prism traversed by light rays. The quantities dn/dl and b often are called the dispersion and baselength of the prism, respectively.
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