Difference between Aberration and Extinction

Aberration occurs when the lens causes the light to deviate from its intended path. Extinction is caused by the medium or particles that absorb and disperse light.

What is Aberration?

Aberration is a word used frequently in optics and physics to indicate when a lens or other optical system fails to produce the expected results due to light deviating from its intended path.

Types of Aberration

When developing optical systems, it is important to account for the many kinds of aberration that might occur. The curvature of a mirror or lens can cause geometric aberrations. Spherical aberration, which happens as a result of variations in a spherical lens' focal length at various distances, is a form of geometric aberration. Chromatic aberration is a difficulty with colours; simply, the lens does not concentrate all of the colours onto the same point, causing undesirable results.

How is it evaluated − Aberration of optical systems is often measured with a Twyman-Green interferometer.

Examples of Aberration

Distortions and astigmatisms are two types of geometric aberrations that arise because of the lens's physical form. Axial and transverse aberrations are examples of chromatic aberration. When developing lenses, engineers must account for the axial aberration, which is a prevalent issue. Only at somewhat wide focal lengths can the transverse chromatic aberration become problematic.

Relevance − Engineers and designers of optical systems must be well-versed in aberrations and the various sorts and shapes they take. Lenses in microscopes, spectacles, teloscopes, and binoculars all require an understanding of aberrations so that they may be designed with these possible problems in mind.

What is Extinction?

The word "extinction" is used in physics to refer to the entire amount of light that has been absorbed and scattered by air particles and gas. Due of their shared associations with light and its motion, extinction and aberration are sometimes misunderstood.

Types of Extinction

Both terrestrial and extraterrestrial objects' extinction rates may be determined. The size and composition of the particles or material through which light travels determine the extinction coefficient.

How is it evaluated − It seems to reason that quantifying extinction has a lot to do with measurements connected to the actual particles, given that the extinction of light waves is caused by the particles or medium the light flows through or impacts. The actual wavelength of light is important for determining extinction in addition to the characteristics of the particles.

Examples of Extinction

Since the sun is at a lower position in the sky relative to the horizon and light rays pass through more molecules of air, the variations in the colour of the sky at dawn and sunset are examples of extinction; this explains why the sky turns orange at these times. When the sun is lower in the sky, it absorbs and scatters light differently than when it is higher.

Application of Extinction

Extinction coefficients are often measured for astronomical objects, and they may be used in conjunction with other data to identify properties of celestial objects like stars. When these coefficients are taken outside, they can provide an indirect indication of pollution levels. In the past, this strategy was proposed as a means of gauging the degree to which air pollution was present.

Differences: Aberration and Extinction

The following table highlights the major differences between Aberration and Extinction −





Aberration is a type of deviation of light when it passes through a lens resulting in imperfect results.

Extinction is the result of absorption and the scattering of light due to the medium or particles through which it passes.


There are two main types of aberration that occur, namely, chromatic and geometric.

There are two broad types of extinction that can be measured, namely, atmospheric and astronomical.

How it is measured

Aberration is measured using an instrument called a Twyman–Green interferometer.

Extinction is measured using various mathematical equations that take into account both measures of the particles or medium and the wavelength of the light.


Aberration is important to take into account in the design of lenses for microscopes, glasses, teloscopes, and binoculars.

Extinction is used for astronomical measures, and was in the past used for estimating pollution levels.

Anatomical divisions

The three divisions of the amygdala are the centromedial nuclei, cortical-like nuclei, and basolateral nuclei.

The three divisions of the hippocampus are ventral, dorsal, and intermediate regions.

Receives stimuli from

Stimuli or input are received by the amygdala from the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

Stimuli or input are received by the hippocampus from the amygdala and the hypothalamus.


Emotion, such as aggression and fear, and behaviors linked to rewards and punishment, are functions of the amygdala.

The functions of the hippocampus include the memory of facts and events as well as spatial memory; it also, therefore, important in learning and it brings about certain behaviors linked to emotional responses.


To conclude, Aberration is due to man-made lenses, while Extinction is a natural phenomenon, although it can be influenced by pollution.

Updated on: 01-Mar-2023


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