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Thomas Young's contribution to visual optics : the Bakerian lecture "On the mechanism of the eye"

Atchison, David A. & Charman, W. Neil (2010) Thomas Young's contribution to visual optics : the Bakerian lecture "On the mechanism of the eye". Journal of Vision, 10(12), pp. 1-16.

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Abstract

Thomas Young (1773-1829) carried out major pioneering work in many different subjects. In 1800 he gave the Bakerian Lecture of the Royal Society on the topic of the “mechanism of the eye”: this was published in the following year (Young, 1801). Young used his own design of optometer to measure refraction and accommodation, and discovered his own astigmatism. He considered the different possible origins of accommodation and confirmed that it was due to change in shape of the lens rather than to change in shape of the cornea or an increase in axial length. However, the paper also dealt with many other aspects of visual and ophthalmic optics, such as biometric parameters, peripheral refraction, longitudinal chromatic aberration, depth-of-focus and instrument myopia. These aspects of the paper have previously received little attention. We now give detailed consideration to these and other less-familiar features of Young’s work and conclude that his studies remain relevant to many of the topics which currently engage visual scientists.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
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4 citations in Web of Science®

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202 since deposited on 11 Nov 2010
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ID Code: 38429
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Accommodation, Astigmatism, Biometry, Chromatic aberration, Gradient index, Historial, Monochromatic aberration, Optometer, Peripheral refraction, Spherical aberration, Thomas Young
DOI: 10.1167/10.12.16
ISSN: 1534-7362
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300) > Vision Science (111303)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 ARVO
Deposited On: 11 Nov 2010 12:49
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2010 00:45

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