Original Research

Optical transferences and their application to ray tracing through the human cornea*

S. D. Mathebula, A. Rubin
African Vision and Eye Health | South African Optometrist: Vol 70, No 4 | a114 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v70i4.114 | © 2011 S. D. Mathebula, A. Rubin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 December 2011 | Published: 11 December 2011

About the author(s)

S. D. Mathebula, Department of Optometry, University of Limpopo, South Africa
A. Rubin, Department of Optometry, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Full Text:



The purpose of this paper is two fold, firstly to describe aspects of the quantitative analysis of the linear optical character of the corneas of ten young and healthy subjects using the exp-mean-log-transference and secondly to illustrate how mean transference and ray vector fields or diagrams can be used to explain and understand the optical properties of corneas as thick optical systems.An Oculus Pentacam was used to obtain 43 successive measurements of the radii of curvature of the anterior and posterior corneal surfaces and the central corneal thicknesses of the right eyes of ten subjects. From these measurements 4×4 ray transferences were calculated. Mean transferences were obtained via multi-dimensional Hamiltonian space and these mean transferences were used to produce stereo-pairs of ray vector fields. The mean transferences are also important in understanding the behaviour of light through each of the corneas concerned. This paper provides the first order optical characters of corneas from the positions and inclinations of rays entering and leaving such systems. As anticipated, light rays through the cornea are deflected inwards when the refractive index of the cornea is greater than the index of the surrounding medium. The exp-mean-log transference for a specific cornea exists and is the optical transference of the averaged cornea of the sample of
measurements for that cornea. Within the limitations of linear or paraxial optics, the corneas of the different eyes in this sample and their averages were found to be close to that of thin optical
systems; but they were not truly thin and instead should be considered as being thick optical systems. (S Afr Optom 2011 70(4) 156-167)


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