Archived Versions

2.71 / 2.710 Optics

As taught in: Fall 2004

A diagram of ray-tracing.

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


Undergraduate / Graduate


Prof. George Barbastathis

Course Features

Course Description

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

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.