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Photonics Dictionary

paraboloidal mirror

A concave mirror that has the form of a paraboloid of revolution. The paraboloidal mirror may have only a portion of a paraboloidal surface through which the axis does not pass, and is known as an off-axis paraboloidal mirror. In essence, an off-axis paraboloidal mirror is a circular segment from one side of a full paraoloid mirror. All axial, parallel light rays are focused at the focal point of the paraboloid without spherical aberration, and conversely all light rays emitted from an axial source at the focal point are reflected as a bundle of parallel rays without spherical aberration. Off-axis paraboloidal mirrors are commonly used for reflective collimating and beam expanding systems that allow unrestricted access to the focal point of the system (i.e. there is no shadowing when a source or detector is placed at the focus of these mirrors, and no obstrutructon is seen in the output of a collimated beam generated by one of these mirrors when used as a beam expander), as well as minimizing the physical space required for the respective refractive versions of these beam expander and collimating optics.


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