Photonics Dictionary

meniscus lens

A meniscus lens is an optical lens that has one side that is concave (curved inward) and the other side that is convex (curved outward). It can be categorized into two types based on its optical power: positive meniscus (convex-concave) and negative meniscus (concave-convex).

Key characteristics and uses of a meniscus lens include:

Positive meniscus lens: The convex curvature is steeper than the concave curvature, causing the lens to converge light rays. It is often used to reduce spherical aberration in optical systems and can improve image quality.

Negative meniscus lens: The concave curvature is steeper than the convex curvature, causing the lens to diverge light rays. It is used to control beam expansion and to correct aberrations in optical systems.

Applications of meniscus lenses include:

Optical correction: Used in eyeglasses to correct vision by adjusting the focus of light entering the eye, often for reducing spherical aberration.

Imaging systems: Employed in cameras, microscopes, and telescopes to enhance image quality by improving focus and reducing distortion.

Laser systems: Used to shape and control laser beams, either by converging or diverging the light as needed.

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