Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Will this have any implications for astronomy?

I don't see any figures comparing the error of the formula with the previous error from numerical methods. While mathematically the discovery seems significant, it isn't clear to me this will actually improve lenses.

From another comment in this thread:

"The author’s have a paper from March 2019 (in arXiv) that uses the result to build some novel telescope geometries."

Note that "build" doesn't mean they built a physical telescope, they came up with lense shapes.

There are some serious problems when building large telescope lenses; if they get too heavy, they start to deform under their own weight, and non-spherical shapes are hard and expensive to produce.

It would be awesome if this analytical solution inspired improvement in real applications, but I'm cautions about that.

Not at the large scale - there aren't really any refracting telescopes left (based on lenses) when it comes to serious research, we replaced them with reflecting telescopes instead (based on mirrors).

There's a few notable exceptions, like the Lick Observatory, but in terms of impacting the state or progress of astronomy, the research from this article is unlikely to have an impact outside of small scale labs and amateur astronomy.

That's not to say the benefits there won't be appreciable for those who rely on optical telescopes, but you won't see this research make a difference for ground based arrays like NRAO, VLA, or in space telescopes.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact