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# 8-1

8-2

## OPTI-502 Optical Design and Instrumentation I

Section 8
Paraxial Raytracing

YNU Raytrace
Refraction (or reflection) occurs at an interface between two optical spaces. The transfer
distance t' allows the ray height y' to be determined at any plane within an optical space
(including virtual segments).

t
n

n n C

Refraction or Reflection:

nu nu y

Transfer:

y y u t

y y

nu

This type of raytrace is called a YNU raytrace. All rays propagate from object space to
image space.
A reverse raytrace allows the ray properties to be determined in the optical space
upstream of a known ray segment. A ray can then be worked back to its origins in object
space.
Refraction or Reflection (reverse):

nu nu y

Transfer (reverse):

y y ut

y y

8-4

nu nu y
y

8-3

## Paraxial Raytrace Equations - System

1
fE

Refraction at an optical system effectively occurs at the principal planes of the system. The
ray emerges from the rear principal plane at the same height, but with a different angle.

Transfer:

y y u t
y y

u
P

The transfer distance t allows the ray height y to be determined at any plane within
an optical space (including virtual segments).
The raytrace equations can be applied to a single surface or to an entire system (by
using the principal planes).

nu nu y
y y u t

## Paraxial refraction occurs at the vertex plane of the surface.

The surface sag is ignored.
The image location is found by solving for a ray height of zero.

h
y
R

t1

t1 = t 2

n n

y ut1

nu nu y

n n

z z

CC

y 0 y u t1
y
t2 t1
u
m

h z / n
t / n nu

h
z/n
t1 / n nu

A raytrace spacing is the distance from the current surface to the next surface.

u u y
y y u t

h
y
u

P
t1

t1 = t 2

8-5

y y u t1 0
y
t2 t1
u

y ut1
u u y
1 1

z z

h z
t
u
2
h z
t1 u

## These relationships also apply to a thin lens in air.

Transfer:

y j 1 y j u j t j

Refract:

nj uj n j u j y j j

y j 1 y j j j

u j 1 u j

j j y j j

Refraction occurs at each surface. The amount of ray deviation depends on the surface
power and the ray height.
Transfer occurs between surfaces. The ray height change depends on the ray angle and
the spacing between surfaces.
The image location is found by solving for a ray height of zero in image space.
n1
h
u1

y1

n1 n2

n2 n3

nk

nk

u1 u2

u2 u3

uk

uk

yk

y2

yk+1

uk

t1 t 2

t1

t2 t 3

tk

tk

## OPTI-502 Optical Design and Instrumentation I

8-6
General Raytrace Equations

n1
h
u1

Transfer:

y j 1 y j u j t j

Refract:

nj uj n j u j y j j

n1 n2

n2 n3

nk

nk

u1 u2

u2 u3

uk

uk

y1

yk

y2

8-7

yk+1

uk

z
t1 t 2

t1

t2 t 3

yk 1 yk uk tk

yk yk 1 uk 1tk 1

n2 u2 n2u2 y22

n2u2 n1u1

y2 y1 u1t1

y1 u1t1

tk

tk

nk uk nk uk ykk

n3u3 n2 u2

tk

yk 1 0

yk
uk

h n1u1 1

h nk uk k

u1 u2

u3

y2

y1
P1

t1

u2 u3

P1

y3
P2

P2

t1 t 2

P3

P3

t2 t 3

## The general raytrace equations hold (in air):

y4

u3
t3 t 4

y j 1 y j u j t j
u j u j y j j

u j 1 u j

Each element or component refracts the ray, and the principal planes are the locations
of effective refraction.
Transfer occurs between the rear principal plane of one component and the front
principal plane of the next.
Image location and magnification:

y4 0

t4 t3

y3
u3

h u1

h u3

8-8

u1

## OPTI-502 Optical Design and Instrumentation I

Paraxial Raytrace
Series of Surfaces

## Two 50 mm focal length lenses are separated by 25 mm.

A 10 mm high object is 40 mm to the left of the first lens.
1

u1

h 10 mm

u1

u2

u2
y2

y1

u1

1 2 0.02 mm-1

u3
z

t1 t 2 25 mm

t1 40 mm

y0 0
u1 0.1 (Arbitrary)
y1 u1t1 4.0 mm

t2 t 3 ?

y2 y1 u1t1

y3 y2 u2 t2 0

y2 4.5 mm

t2 t3 64.286 mm

u2 u1 0.02
u2 u2 y22
u2 0.07

u1 u1 y11
u1 0.02

h ?

u3 u2 0.07
h u
0.1
m 1
1.429
h u3 0.07
h 14.29 mm

## A second ray can be traced to determine the image size.

h 10 mm

u1
u2

u1

1 2 0.02 mm-1

y1

u2

y2
z

t1 t 2 25 mm

t1 40 mm

y0 h 10.0

t2 t 3 64.286 mm

y3 y2 u2 t2
h y3 14.29 mm

y2 y1 u1t1

u1 0.1 (Arbitrary)
y1 y0 u1t1 14.0 mm
u1 u1 y11
u1 0.18

y2 9.5 mm

u2 u1 0.18
u2 u2 y22
u2 0.37

h ?

8-10

u1

8-9

## Raytrace Example Two Separated Thin Lenses in Air

If the arbitrary initial angle of the second ray is chosen to be zero, the
location of the rear focal point of the system can also be determined.
1

u1

h 10 mm

1 2 0.02 mm-1

u2

y1

u2

y2
z

F
t1 t 2 25 mm

t1 40 mm

t2 t 3 64.286 mm

h ?

BFD

y0 h 10.0

y3 y2 u2 t2
h y3 14.29 mm

y2 y1 u1t1

u1 0

y2 5.0 mm

y1 y0 u1t1 10.0 mm

u2 u1 0.2
u2 u2 y22
u2 0.3

u1 u1 y11
u1 0.2

8-11

## BFD (transfer to y3 = 0):

y3 y2 u2 BFD 0
BFD 16.67 mm

The Gaussian properties of an optical system can be determined using a paraxial raytrace
with particular rays.
Rear cardinal points: Trace a ray parallel to the axis in object space. This ray must go
through the rear focal point of the system. The kth surface is the final surface in the system.
n
u1 1 0

n
y1

y1

yk
P

uk
V

BFD
fR

k 1 y1

System:

k y1

k
y1

k nuk
nuk
y1

BFD V F

As transfers:

yk
ny
k
uk
k

yk 1 0 yk uk BFD

fE

f R

d V P

y1 yk
uk

yk 1 y1 yk uk d

d BFD f R

8-12

## Cardinal Points from a Raytrace Rear Points

A ray from an axial object at infinity can be used to determine the rear
cardinal points.
1

1 2 0.02 mm-1

u1

u2

y1

u2

y2
F

u2 u1 0.02
u2 u2 y22
u2 0.03

y3 y2 u2 BFD 0

V
d

t1 t 2 25 mm

u1 0

2
y1

f f R

y2 y1 u1t1

u1 u1 y11
u1 0.02

y1 1.0

y2 0.5 mm

BFD

nu2
u
2 0.03 mm 1
y1
y1

d V P

BFD

y2
16.666 mm
u2

y1 y2
16.666 mm
u2

or

33.333 mm

## d BFD f R BFD f 16.666 mm

Trace a ray from the system front focal point that emerges parallel to the axis in image space.
The reverse raytrace equations are used to work from image space back to object space.
n

n
u1

yk

y1

V
FFD

uk k =0

yk

fF

k 1 yk 0

1
yk

nu1
yk

FFD VF

fE

y1
ny
1
1
u1

fF

d VP

yk y1
u1

d FFD f F

8-14

System:

8-13

8-16

C1 = 0.02/mm
C2 = -0.01/mm
t = 10 mm
n = 1.5

8-15

R1 = 50 mm
R2 = -100 mm
n2 = n

n1 = 1

n3 = 1
C2

C1

## From Gaussian optics (for comparison):

= 0.01/mm
= 0.005/mm

= 0.01467/mm
fE = 68.16 mm

f F 68.16 mm
f R 68.16 mm
d = 2.27 mm
d' = -4.54 mm

PP 3.19mm

There are several different spreadsheet forms that can be used to facilitate the raytrace.

## Raytrace Example Forward Ray

Object
Surface

C
t
n
-
t/n
y
nu
u
y
nu
u

Space 1

Surface 1

Space 2

Surface 2

Space 3

Image
Surface

First, trace a ray parallel to the axis in object space to determine the rear focal point and
rear principal plane.
F'
Object
Surface

Space 1

Space 2

Surface 2

1.0

-
t/n

10
1.5

63.63

1
=

0
0

Solve to obtain
y = 0 at F'

-.005
6.667

Image
Surface

?
1.0

-.01

Ray
parallel
to axis

Space 3

-0.01

0.02

C
t
n

y
nu
u

Surface 1

*
.9333
=

=
-.01

*
=
-.01467
-.01467

8-17

## Raytrace Example Forward Ray

y
nu
u

y1 arbitrarily chosen
to equal 1

.01467 3 .9333 0

y y

V F
V F 63.63 mm
n3

u .01467
y1 1

y1

.01467 / mm

f E 68.16 mm
f R 68.16 mm
BFD V F 63.63 mm
d BFD f R 4.54 mm

y1

fR

8-18

## Raytrace Example From the Trace of the Forward Ray

Now, trace a ray from the front focal point that emerges parallel to the axis in image space
to determine the front focal point and front principal plane.
F
Object
Surface

Space 1

Surface 1

Space 2

Surface 2

?
1.0

-
t/n

FV
0

1.0

10
1.5
-.01

y
nu
u

-.005
6.667

b
a

Image
Surface

-0.01

0.02

C
t
n

Space 3

Ray
parallel
to axis

y
nu a FV b
u
.01b a c

FV 65.89
a .01467

6.667 c b 1

c .005

.005 c 0

b .9667

F
Space 1

Space 2

?
1.0

-
t/n

65.89

1.0

=
.005

-*

y y

1
=

y
nu
u

Image
Surface

-.005
6.667
-* +

.9667
.01467
.01467

Space 3

10
1.5
-.01

Surface 2

-0.01

0.02

C
t
n

y
nu
u

Surface 1

1
0

Ray
parallel
to axis

8-20

Object
Surface

8-19

## Raytrace Example Front Properties

FV
FV 65.89 mm
n1

u .01467
y2 1

y2

.01467 / mm

f E 68.16 mm
y2

f F 68.16 mm

fF

FFD VF FV 65.89 mm

8-21

## Raytrace Example From the Trace of the Reverse Ray

d FFD f F 2.27 mm
PP t d d 10.0 2.27 4.54 3.19 mm

h 1

s OV 200

OV 200
Object
Surface

Space 1

C
t
n

200
1.0

-
t/n

200

Surface 1

Space 2

y
nu
u

20

* arbitrary

19.33
-.1966
-.1966

nu
.1

.51
nu .1966

Image
Location

-.51

.9333
-.01

Image
Size

-.01467
-.01467

## Gaussian check: d 2.27 mm

.01467

h .51mm
s V I 98.30 mm
.51
m
.51
1

98.30

-.1
1

0*
0

Solve

-.005
6.667

.1*
.1

Image
Surface

?
1.0

10
1.5
-.01

Space 3

-0.01

0.02

y
nu
u

Surface 2

d 4.54 mm
f E 68.16 mm

z s d 202.27 mm

s V I z d 98.3 mm

z 102.8 mm

8-22

8-24

Surface
C
t
n

8-23

7

-
t/n
y
nu
u
y
nu
u
y
nu
u

Surface
C
t
n

-
t/n

.02

-.01

/?/200

10

?//?

1.0

1.5

1.0

-.01
/?/200

y
nu
u

y
nu
u

y
nu
u

?//?
63.63

.9333
-.01

-.01467

0
65.89

-.01467

.9667
.01467

.005

.01467

0
98.30
20

.1

## Thicknesses, indices and angles are

associated with optical spaces.

-.005
6.667

.1

## Curvatures, powers and ray heights

are associated with optical surfaces.

19.33
-.1

-.1966
-.1966

0
z

R1 73.8950

R2 51.7840

R3 162.2252

C1 .0135327

C2 .0193110

C3 .00616427

Surface
C
t
n

n2 1.649
t2 4.0

## .013533 -.019311 -.006164

10.5

4.0

1.0

1.517

1.649

1.0

V F
V F BFD 112.85
n'
u .01667

-
t/n
y
nu
u

n1 1.517
t1 10.5

-.00700

.00255

6.92

2
0

-.00400

2.43
1.903

-.01400

112.85
1.881

-.00914

d BFD f R 7.15

t 80 mm
R2 50 mm

R1
V

n2 1
n3 n 1

WD
BFD

C1 .005

C2 .02

1 .01/ mm

2 .04 / mm

1 n2 n1 C1

fR

Gaussian Reduction:

1 2 12

t
80 mm

1
n2

80
)
1
f E f R 500 mm

## .01 .04 (.01)(.04)(

.002/ mm

n1 n 1

F z

f F 500 mm
Both principal planes are well in
front of the system.

2 (n3 n2 )C2

1
.01 80

400 mm

.002 1

.04 80
d 2

1600 mm

.002 1
d

BFD f R d 100 mm
FFD f F d 2100 mm
WD BFD t 20 mm

8-26

R1 200 mm

R2

.008333
y1
f R 120.0

-.01667

y1 2

f E 120.0

-.01667

8-25

Cemented Doublet

Surface
C
t
n

-
t/n

-.005

-.02

/?

-80

?/

1.0

-1.0

1.0

-.01
/?

y
nu
u

y
nu
u

u u2 .002

80

.002 / mm
y1
y1

d BFD f R 400 mm

?/
100

WD BFD t 20 mm

.20

-.01

-.002

0
2100

.01

-.002

4.2

y1 1

f E f R 500 mm

.04

BFD V F 100 mm

FV 2100 mm
1

.002

-.04

.002

.04

8-27

## Mirror System Cassegrain Telescope Raytrace

FFD FV 2100 mm
u .002

y2 1

.002 / mm
y2 y2

f F 500 mm

f E 500 mm

d FFD f F 1600 mm

The principal planes of a thin lens are both located in the plane of the lens.

1
f

Power:

Refraction:

u u y

Transfer:

y y ut

n n 1

8-28

8-29

8-30

## Ray Deviation Thin Lens in Air

The paraxial ray deviation introduced by a thin lens is independent of the object-image
conjugates. Remember that paraxial angles are actually ray slopes.
It depends only on the ray height at the lens and the lens power or focal length:

u u y
u u u y
u

Surface
f
-
t

y
u
y
u
y
u

u u y
y y t u

8-31

8-32

1 .01/ mm

f1 100mm
t 50mm

2 .01333/ mm

f 2 75 mm

1 2 12t

t < f1

.00333/ mm

BFD << f
f1

f f E 300 mm

f2

BFD

f F 300 mm
d

F z

f R 300 mm

1
t 150 mm

BFD f R d 150 mm

d 2 t 200 mm

FFD f F d 500 mm

Surface
f
-
t

y
u

y
u

100

-75

-.01

.01333

/?

50
1

u u2 .00333

-.01

500
1.667
-.01333

f E f R 300 mm
d BFD f R 150 mm

-.00333
1

y1 1

u
.00333/ mm
y1

?/
150
.5

.00333

BFD V F 150 mm

1
0

FV 500 mm
FFD FV 500 mm
u .00333

y2 1

u
.00333/ mm
y2

f F 300 mm

f E 300 mm

d FFD f F 200 mm

8-33

8-34

## OPTI-502 Optical Design and Instrumentation I

In a paraxial raytrace, t is the directed distance from the current surface to the next
surface. As a result, real objects will usually have a positive distance to the first surface,
as opposed to the typical negative Gaussian object distance z.
Surfaces are raytraced in optical order, not physical order. All planes of interest in an
optical space must be analyzed before transferring to a reflective or refractive surface and
entering the next optical space. Within an optical space, transfers move back or forth
along the ray in that space without changing the ray angle. Real and virtual segments of
the space can be accessed.

Surface
C
t
n
-
t/n
y
nu
u
y
nu
u
y
nu
u

8-36

Surface
f
-
t

8-35

y
u
y
u
y
u

## Virtual Objects and Raytraces

Consider an optical system or projector forming a real image. The ray heights and angles
at the image are easy to determine.

A second lens is now placed between the first lens and its image. The original image no
longer exists, but it now serves as a virtual object for the second lens. A final system
image is formed by the second lens working with the first lens.

z
t1

Once again, determining the ray heights and angles in the system image space is
straightforward. Transfer from the first lens to the second lens and refract.

A common situation is to be given the size and location of the virtual object for a lens or
system without any information about the optical system (lens 1, from above) used to
produce it. Rays must be created corresponding to this intermediate image (the virtual
object). These rays exist in the optical space corresponding to the virtual object, which is
the object space of the optical system.
Once the intermediate space rays are
defined, these rays are transferred by t1
back to the entry vertex of the optical
system. The ray heights and angles are
now known at the first vertex of the
optical system, and they are in the
system object space. These constructed
rays can then be propagated through the
system to the system image space.
Pick two rays, one through the top of the
virtual object, the other through the axial
object point. The angles are arbitrary.

Constructed Rays in
Object Space

y1

u1
Virtual
Object

h0
y1
u1

t1

When transferring back to the front vertex, these rays are not refracted by the optical system.
They are already in object space. The negative thickness t1 transfers to the left along the
rays. Regardless of the physical order, rays are traced in optical order: from object space to
image space. The thicknesses are the directed distances as defined by the sign conventions.