A mathematical problem arising in design of ophthalmic lenses

by Fadil Santosa, University of Minnesota

Progressive addition lenses are prescribed to patients who need correction for both far and near visions. A progressive lens needs to have power that gradually changes from the far vision zone, used for example in driving, and the near vision zone, used for example in reading a map. The basics of optics and lens design will be described. In particular, it will be shown that the problem can be reduced to one of surface design. The surface design problem itself is solved by a variational approach, which can be further simplified by linearization, leading to a fourth order elliptic PDE. Numerical results are presented to illustrate the process of lens design.