The purpose of this paper is to point out that (1) proper treatment of polarization by a telescope is not only important for polarimetry, but also for other observations requiring high signal-to-noise ratio, and (2) this does put a constraint on telescope design, which, however, is not unduly restrictive. It is essential that at least some of the large optical telescopes are capable of observing polarization cleanly. It is even more essential that the largest telescope of a generation has this capability, since, for the required precision, one must collect on average 100 times as many photons as for (spectro) photometry with similar resolution.
IAU Colloq. 79: Very Large Telescopes, their Instrumentation and Programs
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