Light rays are traced from the object, through two lens-air interfaces, to create the inverted image on the far side of the lens. The first and second focal points and chief ray are all labeled at their intersection with the ground plane.

Imaging condition: ray-tracing. (Image by Prof. George Barbastathis.)


MIT Course Number

2.71 / 2.710

As Taught In

Spring 2009


Undergraduate / Graduate

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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to optical science with elementary engineering applications. Topics covered in geometrical optics include: ray-tracing, aberrations, lens design, apertures and stops, radiometry and photometry. Topics covered in wave optics include: basic electrodynamics, polarization, interference, wave-guiding, Fresnel and Fraunhofer diffraction, image formation, resolution, space-bandwidth product. Analytical and numerical tools used in optical design are emphasized. Graduate students are required to complete assignments with stronger analytical content, and an advanced design project.

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The different OCW versions of this subject provide complementary materials, including lecture videos, detailed lecture and recitation notes, homework and exam problems with solutions, and student projects.

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Related Content

George Barbastathis, Colin Sheppard, and Se Baek Oh. 2.71 Optics. Spring 2009. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, https://ocw.mit.edu. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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