Principal Focal LengthFor a thin double convex lens, all parallel rays will be focused to a point referred to as the principal focal point. The distance from the lens to that point is the principal focal length f of the lens. For a double concave lens where the rays are diverged, the principal focal length is the distance at which the backprojected rays would come together and it is given a negative sign. The lens strength in diopters is defined as the inverse of the focal length in meters. For a thick lens made from spherical surfaces, the focal distance will differ for different rays, and this change is called spherical aberration. The focal length for different wavelengths will also differ slightly, and this is called chromatic aberration. The principal focal length of a lens is determined by the index of refraction of the glass, the radii of curvature of the surfaces, and the medium in which the lens resides. It can be calculated from the lensmaker's formula for thin lenses. 
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Focal Length and Lens StrengthThe most important characteristic of a lens is its principal focal length, or its inverse which is called the lens strength or lens "power". Optometrists usually prescribe corrective lenses in terms of the lens power in diopters. The lens power is the inverse of the focal length in meters: the physical unit for lens power is 1/meter which is called diopter.

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