Phasing the Telescope

  1. Large telescopes suffer from aberrations and design flaws and telescopes deployed in space can suffer from damage during assembly as well (e.g. Hubble).

  2. The atmosphere distorts the medium thru which ground telescopes view distant objects, and the fixing medium distorts images in microscopes.

  3. Adaptive optics solves these problems with mirrors made up of many adjustable sections. These are called mosaic telescopes.

  4. Must select the optimal adjustment of the mirrors so that the reflected wavefront is optimally phased and the signal is of maximal strength.

  5. A model to describe the telescope phasing problem was developed by Ribak, Adler and Lipson in 1989, using an analogy between the optimal reflected wavefront and the groundstate of a solid-on-solid model.