Geometrical Optics and Image Quality

Course Description

Learn a modern treatment of geometrical and image-forming optics, including cardinal points, marginal and chief rays, stops and pupils, F/# and field of view, paraxial raytracing, real raytracing, paraxial radiometry for flux transfer calculations, Seidel aberration contributions and interpretation of aberrations. Discover their impact on the image quality, estimation of image quality in terms of spot size and description of image quality in terms of modulation transfer function (MTF).

Available Classroom Sections

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CRN Start date End date Format Location Cost
14202 Nov 5, 2014 Nov 6, 2014 Classroom Atlanta, Georgia $1,595
15228 Oct 28, 2015 Oct 29, 2015 Classroom Atlanta, Georgia $1,595
16093 Oct 26, 2016 Oct 27, 2016 Classroom Atlanta, Georgia $1,595

Special Discounts

GTRI employees are eligible for a discount on this course.  If you are a GTRI employee, please go to and look under “GT Professional Development” for a coupon code to use when checking out.

Note: Coupon codes must be applied during checkout and cannot be redeemed after your checkout is complete. Only one coupon code can be used per shopping cart.

Who Should Attend

Engineers, scientists, technicians and managers who are developing, specifying or purchasing optical, electro-optical and infrared systems

How You Will Benefit

  • Understand the fundamental terminology and concepts involved with image-forming optical systems.

  • Determine by calculation the paraxial properties of an optical system: cardinal points, image-plane location, magnification, Lagrange invariant, F/# and field of view.

  • Understand terminology and units for paraxial incoherent radiometry.

  • Estimate image-plane irradiance for given source configuration.

  • Understand the origin and nature of the third-order monochromatic aberrations as well as the first-order chromatic aberrations, emphasizing their impact on image quality and their dependencies on aperture and field.

  • Estimate image quality in terms of spot size for simple systems, including effects of diffraction and aberrations.

  • Understand the concept of modulation transfer function (MTF) as a descriptor of image quality, for both optical systems and electro-optical systems.


  • Paraxial system properties

  • Paraxial raytracing calculations

  • Lagrange invariant

  • Paraxial radiometry

  • Flux transfer examples

  • Basic system forms

  • Monochromatic (Seidel) aberrations

  • Chromatic aberrations

  • Aperture and field dependence

  • Characteristics of point image

  • Modulation transfer function for optical systems

  • Modulation transfer function for electro-optical systems

For Course-Related Questions

Please contact the course administrator: James Teague, Ph.D.