Born: 1888, Amsterdam, Holland Died: 1966, Naarden
Zernike made major contributions to diffraction theory and received the Nobel prize in physics for his invention of phase-contrast microscopy. In telescope optics, his greatest contribution was the derivation of the Zernike circle polynomials, of fundamental importance in optical design and specification because of their orthogonal properties. (Courtesy Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, through H. J. Frankena, TU Delft)
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