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Spie Press Book

Optics for Technicians
Author(s): Max J. Riedl
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Book Description

This book is an introduction to optics and optical fabrication that provides technicians with simple explanations supported by illustrations and diagrams. Detailed examples and calculations are also included. The behavior and performance of optical elements as individual components and as members of complete systems are discussed and evaluated. Further topics include the manufacturing, testing, and mounting of optical elements; two-element systems; optical coatings; and aberrations.

Book Details

Date Published: 23 July 2015
Pages: 196
ISBN: 9781628418217
Volume: PM258

Table of Contents
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Table of Contents


1 Light: What Is It and How Is It Directed?
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Velocity, Observations
1.3 Propagation of Light
1.4 Index of Refraction
1.5 Fermat's Principle
1.6 Snell's Law, Graphically Applied
1.7 Creating a Lens

2 Optical Elements
2.1 Lenses
2.2 Positive Lens, Focal Length, and Back Focal Length
2.3 Additional Relations
2.4 Negative Lens, Focal Length, and Back Focal Length
2.5 Imaging with a Negative Lens
2.6 Magnifier
2.7 Human Eye
2.8 Ball Lens
2.9 Plane Parallel Plate
     2.9.1 Plate perpendicular to the optical axis
     2.9.2 Tilted plate
     2.9.3 Prisms acting as plane parallel plates
     2.9.4 Prism and dispersion
     2.9.5 Abbe number
     2.9.6 Prism spectrometer
     2.9.7 Thin prism
     2.9.8 Lens centering error
     2.9.9 One-diopter prism
2.10 Snell's Law for a Mirror
2.11 Spherical Mirrors
     2.11.1 Imaging with a concave mirror
     2.11.2 Imaging with a convex mirror

3 "Thin Lens" Concept
3.1 Postulation
3.2 Change and Its Impact
3.3 Simplified Image Formation
3.4 Quick Reference for Image Location and Orientation
3.5 Lens Bending

4 Primary Aberrations
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Thin Lens, Object at Infinity, On-Axis Aberrations
     4.2.1 Spherical aberration
     4.2.2 Axial chromatic aberration
4.3 Thin Lens Off-Axis Aberrations
     4.3.1 Coma
     4.3.2 Astigmatism
     4.3.3 Field curvature (Petzval curvature)
     4.3.4 Distortion
     4.3.5 Lateral color, also termed lateral chromatic aberration
4.4 Spherical Convex Mirror, Object at Infinity
4.5 Assessment

5 Stops, Pupils, and Windows
5.1 Aperture Stop
5.2 Field Stop
5.3 Pupils and Windows
5.4 Function of Pupils and Windows
5.5 Vignetting

6 Two-Element Systems
6.1 Introduction
     6.1.1 Telescopes
     6.1.2 Microscopes
     6.1.3 Relay systems
     6.1.4 Projector systems
     6.1.5 Telephoto objectives
     6.1.6 Reverse telephoto objectives
6.2 Doublets
6.3 Separated Imaging Mirrors
     6.3.1 Telescope objectives
     6.3.2 Microscope objectives
6.4 Focal Length of Two Separated Elements

7 Aspheres, Gradient Index Lenses, and Optical Path Length
7.1 Conic Sections
     7.1.1 Aspheric singlet
7.2 Freeform Surfaces
7.3 Gradient Index Lenses
7.4 Optical Path Length

8 Diffraction Limit, Resolution, and Modulation Transfer Function
8.1 Diffraction Effect on an Image
8.2 Resolution, Image Quality, and Depth of Focus
8.3 Modulation Transfer Function
     8.3.1 What is the modulation transfer function?
     8.3.2 Equations
     8.3.3 Additional limit
8.4 Real Case Demonstration
     8.4.1 Aberrations
     8.4.2 Blur spots

9 Optical Coatings
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Refractive Elements
9.3 Antireflective Coatings
9.4 Reflective Coatings
9.5 Interference Filters
     9.5.1 Beam splitters
     9.5.2 Angular sensitivity of filters
     9.5.3 Thermal sensitivity
9.6 Absorption
9.7 Interference

10 Manufacturing Processes
10.1 Introduction with Historical Remarks
10.2 Conventional Generation of Spherical Surfaces
10.3 Test Plate
10.4 Useful Nomogram
10.5 Aspheric Surfaces
10.6 Surfaces Generated with Single-Point Diamond Turning
10.7 Replicated Optical Elements
     10.7.1 Replication process
     10.7.2 Lenses
     10.7.3 Diffraction gratings
10.8 Molded Plastic Optical Elements

11 Optical Bench
11.1 General Remarks
11.2 Basic Bench
11.3 Evaluating a Concave Mirror
11.4 Bessel's Method to Determine the Focal Length
11.5 Autoreflecting Microscope and the Autocollimator

12 Mounting Optical Components
12.1 Declaration
12.2 Basic Lens Mounting Methods
12.3 Plastic Lenses and Mounts
12.4 Mirrors
12.5 Prisms
12.6 Metal Mirrors
12.7 Thermal Effects

13 Exercises with Elaborations
13.1 Exercise 1.1
13.2 Exercise 1.2
13.3 Exercise 2.1
13.4 Exercise 2.2
13.5 Exercise 3.1
13.6 Exercise 4.1
13.7 Exercise 5.1
13.8 Exercise 6.1
13.9 Exercise 7.1
13.10 Exercise 8.1
13.11 Exercise 9.1
13.12 Exercise 10.1
13.13 Exercise 11.1


This book deviates from the usual format of my Tutorial Texts. It guides the reader in a sometimes conversational style through the pages and provides an elementary understanding of the subjects with the support of more than 100 sketches, diagrams, layouts, and tables. Much effort has been applied in presenting the individual subjects and issues with basic relations, avoiding complicated mathematical expressions.

The numerous examples and exercises will be helpful to gain additional knowledge and understanding of the topics under discussion.

Special emphasis has been placed on the fact that optical elements by themselves are simply components. To serve as an instrument, optical elements must be carefully mounted into mechanical structures.

To pay respect to the great scientists of the past for their discoveries and inventions, some historic remarks have been inserted at proper places for reference.

For those who are eager to dig a bit deeper, derivations and verifications of expressions are included in some instances, which provide further insight into a particular subject.

Whereas this text is intended as a fundamental coverage of the broad field of optics, it may also serve to spark latent imagination for some readers.

I thank Tim Lamkins, Tyler Koshakow, and Scott McNeill of SPIE for their guidance and encouragement, and the reviewers for their helpful recommendations.

Max J. Riedl
July 2015

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