Power Vectors: An Application of Fourier Analysis to the Description and Statistical Analysis of Refractive Error


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Abstract

The description of sphero-cylinder lenses is approached from the viewpoint of Fourier analysis of the power profile. It is shown that the familiar sine-squared law leads naturally to a Fourier series representation with exactly three Fourier coefficients, representing the natural parameters of a thin lens. The constant term corresponds to the mean spherical equivalent (MSE) power, whereas the amplitude and phase of the harmonic correspond to the power and axis of a Jackson cross-cylinder (JCC) lens, respectively. Expressing the Fourier series in rectangular form leads to the representation of an arbitrary sphero-cylinder lens as the sum of a spherical lens and two cross-cylinders, one at axis 0° and the other at axis 45°. The power of these three component lenses may be interpreted as (x,y,z) coordinates of a vector representation of the power profile. Advantages of this power vector representation of a sphero-cylinder lens for numerical and graphical analysis of optometric data are described for problems involving lens combinations, comparison of different lenses, and the statistical distribution of refractive errors.

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