Two separate illuminated object points are required
to form each light wave that propagates away from the object plane and
subsequently contributes to real image formation. This fact is in distinct
contrast to the ordinarily accepted assumption that only one object point is
involved. RIF is achieved by using a reference distribution of light in addition
to the usual subject distribution of light. This assures that two well-separated
illuminated object points are used to form each light wave component that
propagates away from the object plane and ultimately contributes to RIF real
image formation. Separation of the reference distribution from the subject
distribution is controlled to assure that the spatial frequencies of these
component light waves all lie within a well-defined finite bandwidth. The
imaging system transfers all wave components with spatial frequencies that lie
within this bandwidth to the image plane. These wave components are superposed
on the image plane to form a real image. An equation, identified as the RIF real
image equation, has been derived to describe the images formed by means of RIF.
In accord with this equation, no real image distortion due to missing wave
components occurs. Resolution is theoretically complete.
RIF is achieved by means of bandwidth restriction.
The bandwidth of the light used for image formation ordinarily exceeds the passband of the imaging system (lens) that is used. Important image forming light components do not contribute to image formation. This circumstance leads to the commonly accepted optical diffraction limit and the resolution limit imposed by it.
When RIF is used, the bandwidth of the light used for image formation is well within the passband of the imaging system that is used. This light is transferred, without amplitude or phase distortion, through the imaging system. All components of the light needed for image formation contribute to image formation.
The commonly accepted optical diffraction limit is entirely avoided when RIF is used. No fundamental resolution limit exists.
SEMI-QUALITATIVE Overview of RIF Technology
A semi-qualitative overview of RIF (Reference Distribution Real Image Formation) technology is presented in the accompanying PDF download. The theoretical physics that underlies RIF has been developed (elsewhere) arXiv:1012.4085 from basic principles. As part of this development, the previously unknown result that two illuminated object points are required to form light waves that contribute to real image formation has been identified. The physics of this cooperative phenomenon has been developed theoretically and demonstrated experimentally. Also, the phenomenon has been used to form real images with resolution that far exceeds the commonly accepted optical diffraction limit. RIF technology is a practical application of this science.