Point spread function

Observation Optics
Point spread function

Response in an optical imaging system

The point spread function (PSF) describes the response of a focused optical imaging system to a point source or point object. A more general term for the PSF is the system's impulse response; the PSF is the impulse response or impulse response function (IRF) of a focused optical imaging system. The PSF in many contexts can be thought of as the extended blob in an image that represents a single point object, that is considered as a spatial impulse. In functional terms, it is the spatial domain version of the optical transfer function (OTF) of an imaging system. It is a useful concept in Fourier optics, astronomical imaging, medical imaging, electron microscopy and other imaging techniques such as 3D microscopy and fluorescence microscopy.

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