A computer-assisted experiment to study the influence of the Point Spread Function in the image formation process

We present a new open experimental setup assisted with LabView to be used to teach the concept of the Point Spread Function (PSF). The PSF describes the response of an image-forming system to a point object. The PSF concept is of a fundamental importance in Optics since the output of an image-forming system can be simulated as the convolution of the PSF with the input object. In this work, a new Graphical User Interface (GUI) has been developed to obtain a real time measure of the PSF and the corresponding images provided by different lenses and pupils with different sizes and shapes. From a didactical point of view, the proposed method allows students to interpret the results in a visual and heuristic way.