Optical EngineeringRudolf Kingslake: accomplishments before joining the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics
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Rudolf Kingslake (1903 to 2003) is perhaps the most widely-known name in lens design and is arguably recognized as the father of lens design in the United States. Although his contributions in optical design, engineering, and education after he moved to the United States in 1929 are generally well-known, little has been written about his technical activities beforehand. In the early summer of 1929, the president of the University of Rochester, Rush Rhees, visited England to recruit faculty members for the new Institute of (Applied) Optics and hired 26-year-old Rudolf Kingslake as its first faculty member, and appointed him as assistant professor of geometrical optics and optical design. The following review of Kingslake's nine published papers while at the Imperial College illustrates his early and already remarkable talents in the field of optical engineering and justifies Dr. Rhees' insightful decision. Kingslake made significant contributions in the area of optical testing. In particular, he expanded the utility of the Hartmann test to measure oblique aberrations and improved the metrology for large optics, and was the first to mathematically analyze interferograms to obtain the primary aberration coefficients.