Hi Lufu, Welcome to the Oly C2040 Family. I just came back yesterday.
Regarding the Fast lens, F1.8 has the biggest lens hole to allow more light to enter at the same time. F2.8 would be smaller compare to F1.8. This is also called the Aperture. It is a calculated ratio so the higher the number the smaller the hole (kind of weird isn't it?). When you use F1.8 to capture a scene, for example night shots, it need 1s to capture the same amount of light that is equal to a F2.8 using 2s in order to capture the same amount of light.
As in higher F is better or not depand on what you are trying to capture. I will let the rest of Gurus to explain to you as I am only a newbie.
Large aperture lets in more light....meaning all being equal...can use a much faster shutter speed (to 'freeze' fast action or to minimize blurriness due to shaky hands) to get the correct amount of exposure.
At small sperture, the shutter gotta open up longer to get the correct exposure.
Also, a larger aperture gives a shallower depth of field effect.....like those portraint shots whereby the subject is in focus but the background is slightly out of focus to create a blurry, soft effect.
Ur F1.8 lens is one of the fastest on a DC...the C-3040Z and C-4040Z also has such fast lens......on comparison the Canon G2 is F2.0, the Oly C-2100Uz is F2.8 and the Casio QV2900UX is F3.2.
Elements refer to the number of pieces of glass; groups, well, refer to how they're grouped together. Aspherical element means that the particular element is not of a spherical shape, usually it has some plastic added to it to give it the shape needed. Sometimes it is a ground glass element, but that's usually for the very expensive lenses. Bokeh with aspherics can be a bit odd, if you're the type that notices that.