Researcher working with an optics table in laboratory.

Laser optics research at Idaho National Laboratory. (Image courtesy of Idaho National Laboratory (INL) on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.)


MIT Course Number

2.71 / 2.710

As Taught In

Spring 2014


Undergraduate / Graduate

Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

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

Other Versions

Other OCW Versions

The different OCW versions of this subject provide complementary materials, including lecture videos, detailed lecture and recitation notes, homework and exam problems with solutions, and student projects.

Related Content

Nicholas X. Fang. 2.71 Optics. Spring 2014. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, https://ocw.mit.edu. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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