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Authored by: Robert Splinter

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Applied and Engineering Physics, Volume 1 A–G

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781498740784
eBook ISBN: 9780203731543
Adobe ISBN:


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[general, imaging, optics] A physicist from Germany (Prussian Empire) who worked for Carl Zeiss (1816–1888) in microscopy development, providing systematic advancement in lens design and quality of the image formation based on his mathematical formulation of light refraction. Additional efforts in telescopic and photography equipment made considerable qualitative improvements. Ernst Abbe, as the heir of the will of Carl Zeiss, was placed in charge of the factory upon Zeiss’ death in 1888. Abbe was also the cofounder of the glass factory Schott in Jena, Germany. Abbe formally introduced the concept of numerical aperture (see Figure A.1).


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