Condenser (optics)

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A condenser is an optical lens which renders a divergent beam from a point source into a parallel or converging beam to illuminate an object. In the context of microscopy, the parallel illumination scheme is known as Köhler illumination whereas the converging illumination scheme is known as critical illumination.

Condensers are an essential part of any imaging device, such as microscopes, enlargers, slide projectors, and telescopes. The concept is applicable to all kinds of radiation undergoing optical transformation, such as electrons in electron microscopy, neutron radiation and synchrotron radiation optics.

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