Short Course on DVD: Introduction to Aberrations

DVDs Available

Individual Use
$600 USD
Site License
$3,000 USD
DVD (3 discs)
3 hours, 48 minutes
John E. Greivenkamp

This course moves beyond the first-order treatment of optical system design (as presented in SC708-08 Geometrical Optics) to describe the effects of aberrations on the performance of imaging systems. The dispersion of optical materials is described leading to a discussion of chromatic aberrations. The design of the thin-lens achromatic doublet is derived. The concepts of wavefront and ray aberrations will be introduced, and the individual third-order aberration terms will be examined. Ray fans, wave fans and spot diagrams will be shown. The through-focus performance of an imaging system in the presence of aberrations will be shown. Combinations of aberrations and the use of aspheric surfaces are also discussed.

Intended Audience: 

This course is intended for engineers, scientists, managers or students who need to understand the effects of aberration on the image quality produced by an optical system. Some understanding of first-order optical design principles is assumed in the material development, and only basic math is used (algebra, geometry and trigonometry).

Learning Objectives: 

This course will enable participants to:

  • Understand chromatic aberration and its origins.
  • Design a thin-lens achromatic doublet.
  • Understand the concepts of wave and ray aberrations.
  • Identify the third-order aberration terms: spherical aberration, coma, astigmatism, field curvature and distortion.
  • Plot wave fans and ray fans for each aberration.
  • Describe spot diagrams for each aberration.
  • Understand the through-focus performance of a system with aberrations and identify the location of the best image plane.
  • Combine aberration terms.
  • Understand the use of aspheric surfaces in optical design.
  • Session 1: Dispersion, Chromatic Aberration and the Achromatic Doublet (1 hour, 24 minutes)
  • Session 2: Monochromatic Aberrations (2 DVDs: 1 hour, 47 minutes; 37 minutes)

Cindy Robertson

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