VS203B Aberrations and Physical Optics, Spring 2013

Coursemaster:  Austin Roorda, PhD, Old Minor Hall rm 485, 510-642-2380, aroorda@berkeley.edu


The purpose of this section of the course is to give the optometry student a basic understanding of the principles and applications of aberrations and physical optics, with a specific emphasis on those topics that relate to vision and the profession of optometry. The series of lectures and exercises will also prepare the student to pass the optometry board exams.

Grading for the Physical Optics Section (this will be confirmed or updated by the first lecture):

The grade you get on this section of the course will comprise 40% of your final VS203B grade (proportional to the number of lectures).

The breakdown is:

Homework Assignments (10%): There will be 4 homework assignments. They will be available for download as pdf files from this website. Solutions to the homework assignments have to be turned in before the lecture on the due date. You should attempt to solve all the problems yourself, but you will not be penalized if you work in groups, copy from a friend, or even copy from previous years solution sets. The only requirement is that the solutions be written by you in your own hand. That way, if you do decide to copy, then you still might learn something. Homework assignments will not be graded, but will only be checked for completeness. No partial grades will be given for partially completed problem sets -  you must attempt to solve every problem or you will get a zero!. Each completed homework assignment will give you 2.5% toward your final grade for this section of the course.

Midterm Exam (35%): There will be a 1.5 hour mini-exam near the end of this section. It will be held during the regular class period and it will be worth 40% toward your final grade for this section of the course. Your exam will be returned to you as soon as possible and guaranteed more than one week before the final. Fully worked solutions will be posted.

Final Exam (55%): The final exam ewlil have sections from this section of the course as well as sections from Dr. Harvitts section. Your grade in my section of the final exam will be worth 55% of your grade in my section of the couse. The final exam will be held during the regular final examination period.

Important dates:

This set of lectures begins on Tuesday, April 2

The midterm (or 'prefinal') will most likely take place on Tuesday, April 30 in rm 489 during the lecture period.

The final exam will be on May 17th in rm 489.


The Aberrations lab will take place on Monday, April 15th Lab #7 Optical Aberrations

The Diffraction lab will take place on Monday, April 29th Lab #8 Interference and Diffraction

Lecture Notes, Readings and Handouts: Lecture notes will be by topics. Each topic may cover more than one lecture. I will tell you in class which topics will likely be covered in the next class.


2011 Lecture Notes

2013 Lecture Notes




Suggested Reading, Websites etc.

Chromatic  and Monochromatic Aberrations   Aberration Notes Aberration Slides from Class Keating Chapter 20 except sections 7,8 & 16-20
Waves and Superposition Waves and Superposition Waves and Superposition   Keating Chapter 21 except sections 11, 14, 15-20 (we will cover these in the next section)
Thin film Interference Thin Film Interference Thin Film Interference thin film problem from class Keating Chapter 21 sections 15-20
Diffraction and Resolution Diffraction&Resolution Diffraction&Resolution Keating Chapter 22 except section 5, 9 - 14, 16-18. You should read section 15 for a discussion of the concept of Fresnel zone plates, but don't worry about the math.
Polarization Polarization Polarization (no lecture on polarization this year) Keating Chapter 23 section 11-16, 21,22
ALL PHYSICAL OPTICS Slides displayed in class


Homework Assignments



Due Date

(before lecture)


(full solutions will be posted immediately after the due date)

Aberrations April 18, 2013 Aberration_Solutions
Waves and Superposition April 25, 2013 Waves&Superposition Solutions
Interference, Diffraction, Resolution anytime before final exam (in my mailbox or at the exam) Diffraction&Resolution Solutions
Polarization there will be no polarization problems this year Polarization Solutions

Other Materials for Download

Lab Notes

Previous Exams

More Sample Questions