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Optical Engineering Fundamentals

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Optical Engineering Fundamentals

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Optical Engineering Fundamentals

It has always been the author's belief that, in the design of any optical instrument, optical and mechanical considerations are not separate entities to be dealt with by different individuals but are merely two phases of a single problem. It has been standard practice to have the optical design performed by one man and the mechanical design by another. This has probably been due in large measure to the fact that optical designers are generally uninterested in mechanical design and mechanical designers are equally uninterested in optical design. This is a most unfortunate situation and is responsible to some extent for the serious retardation of optical instrument development in this country. A primary purpose of the author in writing this book is to show how mechanical design and optical design are interrelated. Both these subjects are based on rather simple principles, a basic knowledge of which is usually sufficient to carry one through the most difficult problems.

This text had its beginnings when the author was invited to give a course in applied optics under the Engineering, Science, and Management War Training program at The George Washington University. The course was intended to give the student some knowledge of the fundamentals of optics, a description of various optical instruments, and finally an outline of the fundamentals of mechanical and optical design. The optical instruments considered were only those of a military nature because the course was intended primarily to train men for war work. As no single suitable text was found for the course, a series of notes to accompany each lecture was prepared by the author. The course was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Raymond J. Seeger of the university staff, and his whole-hearted cooperation in all phases of the work was responsible to a considerable extent for the success of the course. It was at Dr. Seeger's suggestion that the notes prepared for this course were expanded into the present work.

In selecting appropriate nomenclature and sign conventions for use in the sections on optical design the author, for the most part, adopted those suggested by A. E. Conrady in his definitive work ^‘Applied Optics and Optical Design/' This nomenclature is simple and consistent. It is used widely in optical plants in this country. It is sufficiently close to those used in foreign texts to enable one to read those texts with little difficulty. The author has made some slight changes for the purpose of further 8implifi6ation, and to keep in accord with standard American practice when it differs from British procedure. Conrady's text has been consulted freely in the preparation of this work. The author is indebted to Dr. Rudolph Kingslake of the Eastman Kodak Company for instruction (at the University of Rochester) in lens design. Some of the techniques outlined in this volume are based on methods suggested by him ; some of the problems were propounded by him. To Fordyce Tuttle of the Eastman Kodak Company the author is indebted for some material on mechanical design. The author wishes to express his thanks to Dr. Seeger of The George Washington University and to Drs. Deane B. Judd and Robert E. Stephens of the National Bureau of Standards for reading and commenting upon sections of this work and offering valuable suggestions. The entire manuscript was read by Dr. I. C. Gardner of the National Bureau of Standards. Certain photographs used here were obtained through the efforts of R. C. Darnell and Major Van Ness of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance, U.S. War Department. Suggestions as to the inclusion of several topics of interest were made by Lieutenant Commander 0, S. Reading of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. To these men and the others who made contributions to this work the author expresses his gratitude.

It is not possible to make drawings that clearly show the functioning of optical instruments without tremendous exaggeration of some details. In some cases these exaggerations lead to technical absurdities. The author feels that in a work of this sort the primary purpose of any drawing is to instruct rather than to be an exact representation of an original, and he has not hesitated to exaggerate details whenever necessary for the sake
of clarity.

It will be noted that when data on representative military instruments are given in this work the instruments mentioned are usually foreign. The reason for this is that the author is too closely associated with the development of instruments in this country to feel free to reveal their details. By dealing almost exclusively with foreign instruments he has been able to discuss them without the fear of inadvertently revealing some confidential detail of construction.


Preface v
Chapter 1.
Propertied of Lenses 111
Lens Aberrations 30
III. Theory of Stops 48
IV. Brightness of Images in Optical Instruments 58
V. Properties of the Eye 70
VI. Optical Materials 91
VII . Polarized Light Ill
VIII. Low- REFLECTANCE Lens Coatings 118
IX. Photographic Objectives 129
X. Photographic Shutters 144
XI. Prisms Used in Optical Instruments 151
XII. Telescopes 169
XIII. Binoculars and Battery Commander’s Telescopes . . 204
XIV. Periscopes 221
XV. Gun Sights 232
XVI. Rangefinders 249
XVII. Optical Instrument Design; General Considerations 285
XVIII. Machining Operations and Casting Methods 296
XIX. Bearings 313
XX. Gears, Clutches, Couplings 326
XXI. Lens Mountings, Parallel Displacements 341
XXII. Electrical Controls. . 350
XXIIL Photoelectric Cells 365
XXIV. Ray Tracing 381
XXV, Spherical Aberration 391
XXVI. Chromatic Aberration 402
XXVII. Coma 414
XXVIII. Design of Aplanatic OBjEcrnvEs 420
XXIX. Eyepiece Design 433
XXX. Optical Tolerances 443
Index 449