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Question
The limit to the eye’s acuity is actually related to diffraction by the pupil. (a) What is the angle between two just-resolvable points of light for a 3.00-mm-diameter pupil, assuming an average wavelength of 550 nm? (b) Take your result to be the practical limit for the eye. What is the greatest possible distance a car can be from you if you can resolve its two headlights, given they are 1.30 m apart? (c) What is the distance between two just-resolvable points held at an arm’s length (0.800 m) from your eye? (d) How does your answer to (c) compare to details you normally observe in everyday circumstances?
1. $2.24\times 10^{-4}\textrm{ rad}$
2. $5.81\textrm{ km}$
3. $0.179\textrm{ mm}$
4. Hold a ruler at arm's length. The mm divisions are easily distinguished. 0.2 mm division would probably be discernible.
Solution Video