1st course in the Optical Engineering Specialization

Instructor: Robert McLeod, Ph.D., Professor

Optical instruments are how we see the world, from corrective eyewear to medical endoscopes to cell phone cameras to orbiting telescopes.

Prior knowledge needed: Undergraduate level physics, Undergraduate level calculus such (e.g. manipulating integrals and derivatives, trigonometry and linear algebra, engineering problem solving skills), Ability to run windows programs (Optics Studio) and Experience with Matlab or equivalent platform and Mathematica can be helpful.

Learning Outcomes

  • Design to first order such optical systems with simple mathematical and graphical techniques.
  • Develop the foundation needed to begin all optical design as well as the intuition needed to quickly address the feasibility of complicated designs during brainstorming meetings.
  • Enter these designs into an industry-standard design tool, OpticStudio by Zemax, to analyze and improve performance with powerful automatic optimization methods.  

Syllabus

Duration: 4 hours

This module introduces rays, which we use to describe the motion of light through air and materials. The course overview describes the goals of this course and gives tips on how to make the best use of the course materials to be successful. The lectures introduce the material. The in-video questions, lab demonstrations, PhET interactive demonstration, practice problems, and homework assignment allow you to get actively involved in learning the material.

Duration: 2 hours

In this module, you will learn how to enter the description of an optical system into OpticStudio, analyze the performance of that system using various calculations and plots, and finally, optimize that design by defining a merit function and search variables.

Duration: 5 hours

This module applies Snell's Laws to the curved interfaces of lenses and mirrors. You will learn the graphical and mathematical tools you need to calculate image size and location for
thin lens and mirror systems. This foundation is essential to build more complex optical systems.

Duration: 5 hours

This module extends the analysis of the previous module to include the effects of real, thick lenses. You will learn how to input this factor into your optical system analysis and
design.

Duration: 5 hours

For multiple element optical systems, the mathematical tools introduced in this module will make analysis faster and more efficient. In this module, you will learn how to cascade
multiple lens systems using matrix multiplication.

Duration: 2 hours

Final exam for this course

To learn about ProctorU's exam proctoring, system test links, and privacy policy, visit www.colorado.edu/ecee/online-masters/current-students/proctoru.

Grading

Assignment
Percentage of Grade

Week 1: Rays and Snell's Laws Quiz

14%

Week 2: Design of an f/5 Single at Infinite Conjugate Quiz

14%

Week 3: Ray Tracing and Lens Analysis Quiz

14%

Week 4: Thick Optics Quiz

14%

Week 5: yu Tracer and ABCD Matrices Quiz

14%

Week 6: Final Exam

30%

Letter Grade Rubric

Letter Grade 
Minimum Percentage

A

93%

A-

90%

B+

87%

B

83%

B-

80%

C+

77%

C

73%

C-

70%

D+

67%

D

60%

F

0%