The Fresnel lens was invented by French physicist Augustin Fresnel
, who first used this design to build a glass Fresnel lens - lighthouse lens in 1822.
The Fresnel lens
is a thin, flat optical lens which consists of a series of small narrow concentric grooves on the surface of a lightweight plastic sheet in order to reduce the thickness, weight and cost.
Each groove is at a slightly different angle than the next and with the same focal length in order to focus the light toward a central focal point.
Every groove can be considered as an individual small lens to bend parallel Fresnel light waves and focus the light.
The Fresnel lens sheet can now be made from plastic such as acrylic, PMMA, PVC and HDPE.
A traditional glass convex lens would be thick, heavy and very expensive, but a plastic Fresnel lens is a thin, flat, lightweight and low cost alternative.
The applications for Fresnel lenses include lighting, fresnel lens fire starter
, lighthouse, overhead projector, Fresnel magnifier, projection, camera fresnel spotlight, fresnel solar energy, passive motion detector and LED magnifier.
Several Fresnel zone formulas are used in Fresnel technologies for precision diamond tooling machines and electroforming and molding processes.
The Fresnel lens sheet can be designed and manufactured in various sizes with light weight due to less than 4mm thickness, so the cost will be lower than traditional magnifiers. In contrast, a conventional glass lens would be 200mm thick at the edge, weigh over 50kgs and cost thousand of dollars.
To determine the optical Fresnel lens design equation, all of the parameters are determined for each individual application. Several Fresnel zone formulas are used in Fresnel technologies for precision diamond tooling machines and electroforming and molding processes.
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