This book is dedicated to the memory of Gisèle Mersch whose life ended
prematurely in June 2002. Back in the 1970s, when few people were using
them, Gisèle introduced me to the arcane secrets of then advanced multivariate
I was already involved in more classical statistical studies undertaken
at Paris Observatory with Jean Jung: developing and applying maximumlikelihood
algorithms to stellar photometric and kinematic data in order to
derive absolute luminosities, distances and velocities in the solar neighborhood....
For over four decades there has been continuous progress in adaptive optics technology, theory, and systems development. Recently there also has been an explosion of applications of adaptive optics throughout the fields of communications and medicine in addition to its original uses in astronomy and beam propagation. This volume is a compilation of research and tutorials from a variety of international authors with expertise in theory, engineering, and technology.
Traditionally astrophysics has concerned itself with minimum time-scales measured
in hours rather than seconds. This was understandable as the available recording
media were slow; e.g. chart recorders and photographic plates. In the 1950s, 60s
and 70s wavebands away from the optical were developed; from ground based
radio studies to space and balloon borne high energy work. In contrast to optical
wavelengths instrumentation in these (high and low energy) regimes was capable
of time resolutions of less than a second....
Astronomy is a difficult science and it is a challenge to understand even the
stars that compose the brightest system on the night sky: Sirius (α Canis
Majoris=α CMa). This is one of the nearest stars and the brightest one as
seen from Earth, with the exception of our Sun. At present, perhaps unfortunately,
stellar astronomy and in particular the study of the very bright
stars are not part of the mainstream astronomy research. The professional
attention is now focused on the cutting-edge of cosmology, the early Universe,
extremely distant galaxies, the “origins” theme, etc.
Lasers and electro-optics is a field of research leading to constant breakthroughs.
Indeed, tremendous advances have occurred in optical components and systems since the
invention of laser in the late 50s, with applications in almost every imaginable field of
science including control, astronomy, medicine, communications, measurements, etc.