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Photon Tunneling Microscopy of Diamond Turned Surfaces

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The process of precision machining an optical surface with a diamond tool can produce a fascinating topography that contains a wealth of information not only about the optical quality of the part, but about the tool, machine, and process as well. The topography is thus an archeological record of the machining characteristics at any point in time. In order to pull all possible information from the topography, one would like a profiler that is not only quantitative, with high resolution, but fully qualitative as well with a field of view large enough to teach topographic trends and facilitate pattern recognition.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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