Optical instruments are how we see the world, from corrective eyewear to medical endoscopes to cell phone cameras to orbiting telescopes. This course will teach you how to design such optical systems with simple mathematical and graphical techniques. The first order optical system design covered in the previous course is useful for the initial design of an optical imaging system but does not predict the energy and resolution of the system. This course discusses the propagation of intensity for Gaussian beams and incoherent sources. It also introduces the mathematical background required to design an optical system with the required field of view and resolution. You will also learn how to analyze these characteristics of your optical system using an industry-standard design tool, OpticStudio by Zemax.

From the lesson

Maxwell's Equations

This module provides the background for the full electro-magnetic field description of optical systems, including a description of plane and spherical waves and a formal treatment of reflection and refraction from this perspective. We start out with a quick review of the mathematical background for this description. This will be fairly short, but you may want to spend some more time reviewing these concepts on your own if you have not seen them for a while.