OPTI 502

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Optical Design and Instrumentation I


John E. Greivenkamp

College of Optical Sciences, Rm. 741

(520) 621-2942



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



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:

If class attendance fall below a reasonable level, the instructor reserves the right to give pop quizzes at the start of a lecture.  These quick quizzes will be given during the first 2-3 minutes of random classes and will be counted as part of the Homework score for the course.  The purpose of the quizzes is to monitor basic material understanding as well as to promote on-time class attendance.

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.

Because of the irregular class schedule, homework will be turned in to the Academics Office (Room 403) by 10:00 AM on the due date.  Anything turned in after that time is considered late.  Approval for early or late homework must be obtained in advance from the instructor.

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.

Distance Students:  Homework  must be received in Tucson within one week of the on-campus due date.  Any course material received after this limit will receive zero credit.  

Late Homework Policy (On Campus Students):

– Homework that is turned in after 10:00 AM on the due date 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 at the Academics Office.  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 a door or leave it in the box outside a 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 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

Disability Resource Center:

Accessibility and Accommodations:  At the University of Arizona, we strive to make learning experiences  as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience barriers based on disability or pregnancy, please contact the Disability Resource Center (520-621-3268, https://drc.arizona.edu/) to establish reasonable accommodations.   

Students who are registered with the Disability Resource Center must contact the instructor by Friday October 4 so that the necessary accommodations can be arranged.  For this course, exams will be administered here at the College of Optical Sciences rather than at the DRC.

Homework Schedule

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

502 Homework 2019 Set 1

Assigned  8/26/19           Due  9/4/19

Distance Due Date  9/11/19

Solutions: 1-1

Course Notes

502-0 Full Syllabus – 2019

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 Vignetting

502-11 Radiative Transfer

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 Binocular

History of Telescopes and Binoculars


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