OPTI 502

Course Information  |  Homework Schedule  |  Downloads  |  Helpful Links

Optical Design and Instrumentation I

  • Semester: Fall 2018
  • Days and Time: Monday/Wednesday – 8:00 – 9:15 a.m.
  • Location: Meinel Building, Room 307


John E. Greivenkamp

College of Optical Sciences, Rm. 741

(520) 621-2942


Office Hours:  Monday   2:00-3:00

I also maintain an open door policy related to this course.  Feel free to knock even if the door is physically closed.  If the time is bad, we will set something up.  I prefer to see you in person rather than by email!


Teaching Assistant and Grader

Yufeng Yan


Office Hours:

  • Monday: 3:00-5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 2:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Office hours will be held in the 7th floor discussion area (Optical Sciences West Wing). Also available by email and appointment. Please email to set up an individual appointment.

Course Information

Goal: This course will provide the student with a fundamental understanding of optical system design and instrumentation. The course begins with the foundations of geometrical optics, which includes the first-order properties of systems, and paraxial raytracing, continues with a discussion of elementary optical systems, and concludes with an introduction to optical materials and dispersion. A special emphasis is placed upon the practical aspects of the design of optical systems.

Instructor Notes: Will be required and will be distributed on line.

Required Text: Field Guide to Geometrical Optics, J. E. Greivenkamp ISBN: 0819452947

Note that this book is available as an e-book through the UA library as well as an app for Android (search “SPIE”)

References: A useful list of optics references

Full Course Syllabus: Syllabus – Includes Course Policies

Grading Policy and Schedule:

  • Homework 20%
  • Pop Quizzes 10%
  • Midterm Exam (In Class) 30%
    • Wednesday 10/24/18 (Lecture 19)
  • Final Exam (In Class) 40%
    • Wednesday 12/12/18, 8:00-10:00 AM

Please note the final exam date that has been assigned by the University – plan your holiday travel accordingly as the final exam will not be available prior to this date.  If the midterm date has not yet been determined, it will be announced well in advance.

Only a basic scientific calculator may be used for the in-class exams.  This calculator must not have programming or graphing capabilities.  An acceptable example is the TI-30 calculator.  Each student is responsible for obtaining their own calculator.  Please note that this type of calculator is also required for the Ph.D. Comprehensive/Preliminary Exam in Optical Sciences.

Distance Students: All course materials (including the final exam) must be received in Tucson by 5 PM on Monday December 17, 2018.  This implies that you must take the exam by Friday December 14 and ship it that same day by a priority service.  It is the Student’s responsibility to see that this requirement is met by their proctor.


A: Excellent – has demonstrated a more than acceptable understanding of the material; exceptional performance; exceeds expectations

B: Good – has demonstrated an acceptable understanding of the material; adequate performance; meets expectations

C: Average – has not demonstrated an acceptable understanding of the material; inadequate performance; does not meet expectations

D: Poor – little to no demonstrated understanding of the material; exceptionally weak performance


Pop Quizzes:

Quick quizzes will be given during the first 2-3 minutes of random classes throughout the semester.  There will be a total of about 10-15 quizzes.  The purpose of the quizzes is to monitor basic material understanding as well as to promote on-time class attendance.  Please be prepared at every class with a blank sheet of paper (8 ½ x 11) for a potential quiz.

Missed quizzes cannot be made up.

Distance students – the instructor is counting on your integrity to do the quiz during the allotted time period.  Please return the quiz as you would any homework set.


Homework Assignments & Solution Sets:

Homework and solutions will be posted as .pdf files through this website. If you need Acrobat Reader to view .pdf files, please see the Adobe website for a free download.

Homework will be assigned regularly throughout the semester, and it will usually be due in one week.  The solutions to the homework will be posted at the same time as the homework is assigned.  The purpose of the homework is for you to practice the techniques discussed in class or to reinforce this material.  Completion of the homework is important to fully master this material.  Collaboration and discussion of the homework is encouraged.

Homework is due in the classroom on the assigned day – it may not be turned in early.  Homework must be turned in before the start of class.  A student may only turn in their own homework.  No electronic submissions are permitted.

Any homework turned in to the TA will receive zero credit.

Because the homework solutions are available as a resource during the completion of the assigned homework, the grading of the homework will be based upon verification that the homework problems have been completed and turned in.  Approval for early or late homework must be obtained in advance from the instructor.


Late Homework Policy (On Campus Students):

– Homework that is turned in after the start of class is considered late.

– Late HW that is turned in on the due date will receive a 20% penalty.

– Late HW that is turned in on the day after the due date will receive a 50% penalty.

– Late HW that is turned in two or more days after the due date will receive no credit.

– All late homework must be turned in to the instructor.   In the instructor’s absence, you may turn in late HW to Cindy Gardner in Room 719.  Any HW turned in to the TA will receive zero credit.

– Homework must be turned in during normal business hours.  Do not slip late HW under the instructor’s door or leave it in the box outside the door.  It will get zero credit.

– When issues arise, please contact the instructor as soon as possible so that appropriate accommodations can be made.



It is expected that students will regularly attend class and be on time for class. Late arrivals to class are distracting to both the instructor and the other students. Attendance for this class is not specifically part of the course grade (but please note the homework and quiz policies).

In Keeping with University policies:

– All holidays or special events observed by organized religions will be honored for those students who show affiliation with that particular religion.

– Absences pre-approved by the UA Dean of Students (or Dean’s designee) will be honored.

Since there is no grade for attendance for this course, these policies would apply primarily to scheduled exams and quizzes.  The instructor must be notified at least one week prior to any such absence so that appropriate arrangements can be made.


The Full Course Syllabus contains:

  • Special Instructions for Distance Learning Students
  • Academic Integrity
  • Absence Policies
  • Other Policies


DRC Students:

Students who are registered with the Disability Resource Center must submit appropriate documentation to the instructor if they are requesting reasonable accommodations.  For this course, exams will be administered here at the College of Optical Sciences rather than at the DRC.

Students requesting accommodation must contact the instructor early in the semester so that the necessary accommodations can be made.

Homework Schedule

Unless otherwise noted, all homework sets are worth 10 points.

502 Homework 2018 Set 1  This Homework Set is worth 15 points

Assigned  8/20/18 Lecture 1          Due  9/5/18 Lecture 5

Solutions: 1-1  Fermat Principle Concave Mirror   1-2  Perfect Plano-Convex Lens   1-3  Law of Reflection Fermat Principle   1-4  Refraction Through a Series of Layers   1-5  Laser Scanner   1-6  Snell’s Law   1-7  Tunnel Diagrams   1-8  Fiber Acceptance Angle

502 Homework 2018 Set 2 

Assigned  9/5/18 Lecture 5          Due  9/12/18 Lecture 7

Solutions: 2-1  LensPentaprism   2-2  Object-Image Distance   2-3  Image Position-Thin Lens   2-4  Focal Length Measurement   2-5  Sign Conventions

502 Homework 2018 Set 3 

Assigned  9/12/18 Lecture 7          Due  9/19/18 Lecture 9

Solutions: 3-1  Imaging Exact and Approx   3-2  Star Images   3-3  FOV and Focal Length   3-4  Air and Water Interface   3-5  Special Spherical Ball   3-6  Ray Constructions – Thin Lenses

502 Homework 2018 Set 4 

Assigned  9/17/18 Lecture 9          Due  9/26/18 Lecture 11

Solutions: 4-1  Cube – Gaussian Imaging   4-2  Plastic Rod   4-3  Fishbowl   4-4  Gaussian Imaging   4-5  Image in an Eye   4-6  Afocal Glass Rod   4-7  Ray Constructions – Systems

502 Homework 2018 Set 5

Assigned  9/26/18 Lecture 11          Due  10/3/18 Lecture 13

Solutions: 5-1  Telephoto – Gaussian Reduction   5-2  Thick Lens – Varying Index   5-3  Gaussian Reduction – 3 Surfaces   5-4  Thick Lens   5-5  Eye Model-Gaussian Reduction   5-6  Concave Mirror   5-7  Mirror with Index n   5-8  Gregorian Objective   5-9  Two Thick Lenses in Air   5-10  Ray Constructions – Mirrors

502 Homework 2018 Set 6

Assigned  10/3/18 Lecture 13          Due  10/10/18 Lecture 15  Turn in on Monday 10/15

Solutions: 6-1  Reverse Telephoto Raytrace   6-2  Reverse Telephoto Raytrace with Object   6-3  Three-Surface Raytrace   6-4  Sphere – Paraxial Raytrace   6-5  Eye Model Raytrace   6-6  Biconcave Lens Raytrace   6-7   Mangin Mirror

502 Homework 2018 Set 7

Assigned  10/10/18 Lecture 15          Due  10/17/18 Lecture 17

Solutions: 7-1  Refracting Surface with Stop   7-2  Pupil Location – Raytrace   7-3  Pupil Locations – Gaussian   7-4  Sensor Field of View   7-5  Lens with Two Apertures   7-6  Afocal System – Pupils   7-7  Two Thick Lenses with a Stop   7-8  Concave-Convex Lens with Embedded Stop   7-9  Marginal and Chief Rays

502 Homework 2018 Set 8

Assigned  10/24/18 Lecture 19          Due  10/31/18 Lecture 21

Solutions: 8-1  Telephoto with FOV and Vignetting – Raytrace  8-2  Stop and Lens Vignetting   8-3  Air-Spaced Triplet   8-4  Lambertian Surface   8-5  Detector Irradiance   8-6  Antelope   8-7  Landscape Lens – Pupils and Vignetting   8-8  Photographic Objective – Raytrace

502 Homework 2018 Set 9

Assigned  10/31/18 Lecture 21          Due  11/7/18 Lecture 23

Solutions: 9-1  Reverse Telephoto with FOV – Raytrace   9-2  Telephoto-Thin Lens Design   9-3  Fluid Lens   9-4  DX Format DSLR Camera   9-5  Reverse Telephoto Zoom Lens   9-6  Keplerian 5X   9-7  Binoculars 6×30   9-8  Galilean 5X   9-9  Keplerian 10X Eye Relief   9-10  Stars – Angular Resolution with Diffraction   9-11  Magnifier FOV   9-12  Keplerian 12X with Specified Eye Relief

502 Homework 2018 Set 10

Assigned  11/7/18 Lecture 23          Due  11/14/18 Lecture 24

Solutions: 10-1  Teleconverter   10-2  Eyepieces   10-3  Eyeglasses   10-4  Peephole with Radiometry   10-5  Keplerian with Relay   10-6  Cassegrain Objective Raytrace   10-7 Riflescope with Existing Lenses

502 Homework 2018 Set 11

Assigned  11/14/18 Lecture 24          Due  11/21/18 Lecture 26

Solutions: 11-1  Hyperfocal Camera Design Based Upon Monitor Specification   11-2  Objective plus relay   11-3  Telecentric Petzval Lens   11-4  Keplerian-Vignetting and Telecentric   11-5  Lenses With Separation t   11-6  Microscope Finite Tube   11-7  Porro Prism Binoculars

502 Homework 2018 Set 12

Assigned  11/21/18 Lecture 26          Due  11/28/18 Lecture 28

Solutions: 12-1  Afocal Adapter   12-2  Spot on Wall   12-3   Lens of Varying Thickness  12-4  Microscope Objective

502 Homework 2018 Set 13

Assigned  11/28/18 Lecture 28          Due  12/5/18 Lecture 30

Solutions: 13-1  Parallelism   13-2  Achromatic Prism   13-3  Chromatic Aberration and Telescopes   13-4  Achromatic Doublets   13-5  Peephole Unvignetted   13-6  Gregorian Telescope

Course Notes


502-0 Full Syllabus

502-01 Introduction

502-02 Mirrors and Prisms

502-03 Imaging with a Thin Lens

502-04 Imaging and Paraxial Optics

502-05 Gaussian Imagery

502-06 Object-Image Relationships

502-07 Gaussian Reduction

502-08 Paraxial Raytracing

502-09 Stops and Pupils

502-10 Radiative Transfer

502-11 Vignetting

502-12 Objectives

502-13 Magnifiers and Telescopes

502-14 Relays and Microscopes

502-15 Telecentric Systems

502-16 Stop and Image Quality

502-17 Materials

502-18 Dispersing Prisms

502-19 Thin Prisms

502-20 Chromatic Effects

502-21 Illumination Systems

502-22 The Eye

502-23 Camera Systems

502-A Appendices




Schott Glass MapData Sheets

Hoya Glass Catalog

Ohara Glass Catalog


Blank Ray Trace Sheets


300 Year Quest for Binoculars

History of Telescopes and Binoculars


Equation Sheets – Will be Included with the Exam

Midterm     502 Equations Midterm – 2018

Final Exam     502 Equations

Old Exams and Solutions

Note that old exams and solutions are provided as study aids only. As the course has evolved, the material covered in the course has changed, so that the exams may not be representative of the material coverage on a current exam.

Midterm Exams

1999 | Solutions        2000 | Solutions

2001 | Solutions        2002 | Solutions

2003 | Solutions        2004 | Solutions

2005 | Solutions        2006 | Solutions

2007 | Solutions        2008 | Solutions

2009 | Solutions        2010 | Solutions

2011 | Solutions        2012 | Solutions

2013Solutions        2014 | Solutions

2015 | Solutions        2016 | Solutions

2017 | Solutions

Final Exams

2000 | Solutions        2001 | Solutions

2002 | Solutions        2003 | Solutions

2004 | Solutions        2005 | Solutions

2006 | Solutions        2007 | Solutions

2008 | Solutions        2009 | Solutions

2010 | Solutions        2011 | Solutions

2012 | Solutions        2013 | Solutions

2014 | Solutions        2015 | Solutions

2016 | Solutions        2017 | Solutions

Additional Project-Style Homework Problems (Optional)

Project 1 | Solution

Project 2 | Solution

Project 3 | Solution

Project 4 | Solution

Project 5 | Solution

Other Links

Museum of Optics

Lens Movies – Courtesy of Marshall Scott

     Positive Lens

     Negative Lens


SPIE – The International Society for Optics and Photonics

OSA – Optical Society of America

Surplus Shed