Visual optics is a scientific field that brings together many disciplines. Optical engineering and biology are interwoven to produce the most sophisticated imaging system known. The human visual system functions over a broad range of conditions, adapts to its surroundings and is capable of quickly processing complex visual information at enviable speeds. Many of the great names of optical physics such as Newton, Maxwell, Young, Helmholtz, and Alvarez have all made significant contributions to the field of visual optics. This book assembles much of the anatomy, physiology, and functioning of the eye, as well as the engineering and design of a wide assortment of tools for measuring, photographing and characterizing properties of the surfaces and structures of the eye. Finally, descriptions of our attempts to correct vision, reverse the aging process, and improve on Mother Nature are given.
I would like to express my gratitude to several colleagues for their help with this book. First, I'd like to thank John Greivenkamp for granting the opportunity to write this book and for his mentoring and friendship. Second, I'd like to thank Joseph Miller, whose enthusiasm for engineering is contagious, and whose ideas are always elegant. Finally, I'd like to thank Charlie Campbell for passing on a bit of his wisdom and knowledge and for providing an outlet for my babbling about Zernike polynomials.
This book is dedicated to my wonderful wife Diana, my son Max, and my daughter Marie.
Dept. of Ophthalmology and Optical Sciences Center, University of Arizona
© 2004 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers