Abstract

Optics and electron optics have played a competitive and a complementary role in communications. While the replacement of the light beam by the electron beam ushered in modern television, the advent of the laser and the technology which has accompanied its development have made light optics competitive in areas which, for a while, appeared reserved to purely electronic devices. Computer memories and micromachining and welding are better examples of this than are television displays. Electron optics has an unchallenged monopoly only where the density of information to be recorded or read out exceeds substantially an element for a unit of length equal to a wavelength of light. The competition of optics and electron optics is, however, more than outbalanced by their complementary roles. This may be illustrated from all phases of television practice and is accentuated in some of the more recent developments.

© 1970 Optical Society of America

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