Optical instruments are how we see the world, from corrective eyewear to medical endoscopes to cell phone cameras to orbiting telescopes. When you finish this course, you will be able to design, to first order, such optical systems with simple mathematical and graphical techniques. This first order design will allow you to develop the foundation needed to begin all optical design as well as the intuition needed to quickly address the feasibility of complicated designs during brainstorming meetings. You will learn how to enter these designs into an industry-standard design tool, OpticStudio by Zemax, to analyze and improve performance with powerful automatic optimization methods.

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First Order Ray Tracing

This module applies Snell's Laws to the curved interfaces of lenses and mirrors. You will learn the graphical and mathematical tools you need to calculate image size and location for thin lens and mirror systems. This foundation is essential to build more complex optical systems.