White light is composed of many different colours or wavelengths of light. As white light enters the glass of a lens, each wavelength takes a slightly different path. This is known as dispersion. If a lens is not designed to take account of this dispersion by using a colour corrected optical setup, colour fringes will appear on any images taken. The resulting image will be unsatisfactory for all but the most basic of kind of vision application. Accurate measurements will also be impossible because the object's edges will be blurred. This blurring will also vary in magnitude across an image.
The effect of chromatic aberration on images can be seen as a coloured fringe on the edges of objects as shown here.
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