Optics for Technology Students

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9780130112941: Optics for Technology Students

This comprehensive introduction presents the fundamentals of optics for readers with little or no prior training in the subject. The book's accessible format requires only an algebra and geometry foundation and presents the applications and physics of optics principles as geometrical optics and the wave motion for light. The book provides and easy-to-understand presentation of the applications of optics, the physics of optical principles, reflection, refraction, lens testing, ray tracing, mechanical design and optical tooling. For individuals requiring an introductory level presentation of the applications and physics of optical principles.

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From the Back Cover:

Requiring only algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and mechanical drawing, this applied text uses standard terminology to present the fundamental principles of optics at a level appropriate for college students studying engineering technologies or other similar disciplines. The implications of optics are also covered in order to describe how various instruments function.

The primary objective of this text is to present the fundamental concepts of optics to readers having little or no prior training in the subject. Wherever it seemed appropriate, the concepts have been more rigorously presented in order to make understanding more complete.

The secondary aim of the text is to encourage the use of personal computers and inexpensive programmable calculators to relieve the student of much of the drudgery of repetitive calculations when seeking solutions for the complicated algebraic equations used in optics. This will enable the mindset of the students to go immediately from input parameters to the results, thereby enhancing the learning process.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Preface

This text had its beginning when I was working as an electrical engineer and, by virtue of a work assignment, became involved with the use of optics for making precision measurements. Acceptance of that work assignment led to a career which encompassed the use, manufacture, and design of optical instruments for making precision measurements. Afterwards I became involved in research into new applications for using optics for a variety of measuring tasks.

My lateral shift from electrical engineering to optics required an immediate learning process in the optics discipline. Incidentally, at that time many engineers were experiencing the same lateral shift into the optics specialty. During this process, most of us found few, or no, academic programs which suited our needs. The textbooks in the optics discipline were inconsistent in their presentation of common optical concepts. Only Donald Jacobs' book and the U.S. Department of Defense handbook for standardization of optical design and terminology (see bibliography) stood out as being helpful for the serious beginning learner.

After working as an optical engineer in industry for more than 15 years, I accepted a position for teaching electromechanical technologies at the junior college level. While in that teaching position I developed a course in basic optics which was included in our curriculum. I subsequently taught that course for 20 years. During all that time I could find no optics text suitable for this academic level. As a result, my personal notes were transformed into a text for the course I taught. This book is the result of an expansion of those notes.

The subject matter in this book is the fundamentals of optics presented at the level I have found to be appropriate for college students studying engineering technologies or other similar disciplines. The optical concepts are presented at a first-order level, to use a term borrowed from the optical designer's terminology. The presentation is basically geometrical optics and the wave motion for light. Wherever it has seemed appropriate, the concepts have been more rigorously presented in order to make understanding more complete; an example is the chapter on diffraction.

The primary objective of this text, as just mentioned, is to present the fundamental concepts of optics to readers having little or no prior training in the subject. Assimilation of these optics concepts will prepare the technologist to be able to converse with optical professionals in the workplace in their language whenever consultations might be required. Consequently, the technical information will be presented at the math and science levels that are appropriate for this population. Suggested prerequisites are algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and mechanical drawing. The physics of the optical principles being studied often will follow geometrical optics patterns which can be described with algebraic equations. Therefore, in this text, algebra will be heavily emphasized.

A secondary aim of the text is to encourage the use of personal computers and inexpensive programmable calculators to relieve the student of much of the drudgery of repetitive calculations when seeking solutions for the complicated algebraic equations used in optics. This will enable the mindset of the students to go immediately from input parameters to their results, thereby enhancing the learning process.

Technical terminology and equation formulation in the text are in accord with MIL-HDBK-141, which is the U. S. Department of Defense's optical standards for industries dated August 5, 1962. The reason for this selection is to introduce the students to the standardized terminology for, and presentation of, optical concepts used in industry. My experience has been that the terminology and formulation presented in MIL-HDBK-141 is accepted by most workers in today's optics field. Even though this handbook was mandated when many optical engineers were working as suppliers of optical equipment for the U.S. government, the MIL-HDBK-141 style has remained with us by choice as we have moved on to other fields of endeavor.

The book opens with chapters on light, glass as a material, reflection, refraction, and prisms. These are followed by chapters on lenses (both thin and thick), aberrations in lenses, and lens combinations. A chapter on elementary geometrical ray tracing as a means for analyzing almost any kind of optical system follows. Ray tracing a complete system is normally thought of as a tool reserved for optical designers, and for students at the introductory level to become ray tracers might seem like reaching too far too soon. But the ray tracing presented here is a combination of geometrical optics at the optical first-order level and engineering drawing. The math required is taught by this text, and the drawing can be done in whatever environment the technologists find themselves while they are at work. As I have taught ray tracing over the years, I have found that the inclusion of this analysis tool has been well accepted by my students. It works, and the students like the feeling of accomplishment which it brings to them as they progress into deeper levels of study, or to the workplace, or both. On this topic, feedback has never been negative.

Many optical devices, such as microscopes and telescopes in all their various styles, use the human eye as the final receptor. This being so, a chapter on the human eye seemed appropriate for inclusion just before the chapter on representative optical instruments. Afterwards, diffraction and interferometers are covered as are optical fibers and lasers, lens testing and design, and optical tooling. Including a chapter on mechanical design seems to fit in a text on optics as many special optical systems require a quality of image which can be easily degraded when the lenses are not carefully mounted.

Fundamentals of optical tooling are also included. Who is to know which area of optics the technology student might ultimately enter? Sophisticated manufacturing procedures require sophisticated measuring and measurements control.

The first eleven chapters lay out the physics of the fundamental principles of optics. In the later chapters the applications of optics are covered to describe how various types of instruments function. In order to develop an understanding of these instruments, the reader is introduced to those principles of physics which make the instruments work. The original equations are then brought forth, analyzed, and connected together to derive new equations for describing the action of the instrument.

The use of computer spreadsheets as a technical tool and mathematical analysis as another tool are, I feel, major objectives for any introductory optics course for which this book might be found suitable. Be assured that I have classroom tested these teaching-learning strategies and found them to fit well when teaching optics at this level to students at this level.

I sincerely hope that nothing is read into the book's conversational writing style nor the pragmatic way in which optics is treated. The book is written in a conversational style because, over a period of about twenty years, I have found it to be most successful while teaching introductory optics to junior college technology students. This style was used in the Jacobs text, which was the introduction to optics for the author and a host of other working graduate engineers when we were faced with learning how to become optical engineers while on the job.

The text should make one recognize that the imperfections which arise from the "imperfect" selection of spherical lens surfaces and imperfect glass material which treats light of different colors differently are only "bumps in the road" which can be overcome by those who share the responsibilities, the professional optical designers.

It is my sincere hope that this book will help technologists feel familiar and comfortable as they enter into technical discussions with lens designers and share a common language with them.

Robert O. Naess
Rochester, New York

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Naess, Robert O.
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ISBN 10: 0130112941 ISBN 13: 9780130112941
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Robert O. Naess
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