SOLUTIONS TO LINEAR PROBLEMS IN ABERRATED OPTICAL SYSTEMS
This event is part of the PhD Final Oral Exams.
Examining Committee: Bennett Goldberg, Jerome Mertz, David Campbell, Steve Ahlen, Thomas Bifano
One of the greatest challenges in understanding any physical system is extracting as much information as possible. In optics, the laws that govern the interaction of a system with light are frequently linear: Maxwell’s equations lead to linear wave equations, and in general one can write the evolution of the quantities of interest as a linear propagation in space and time. This linearity imposes a constraint on how one recovers information about an object of interest; for example, one can expand the field-of-view by taking multiple images (reducing the total framerate) or by lowering the numerical aperture (reducing the resolution). In each case, one aspect of information is sacrificed for another. Therefore, one can efficiently probe a system through optical means by carefully choosing what aspects of the light are measured, depending on the problem of interest. This can be attained through direct manipulation of the optical propagator, by using a Spatial Light Modulator to perform physical linear transformations on the light field. In this thesis, I demonstrate the usefulness of a MEMS Deformable Mirror (DM) in implementing the necessary linear transformation, and apply the methodology to three systems of interest: recovering imaging capabilities in porous rock, expanded imaging of neuronal activity in brain tissue, and high-throughput particle identification in label-free flow cytometry. In each case, I show how careful control of the light travelling through the microscope allows for optimized recovery of the desired information.