Primary Aberrations, a lecture in optics. 1

In our Lecture-I we discussed the phenomena of aberrations that arise because of a discrepancy of a first order theory and the 3rd order theory as depicted by the Maclaurin series; where we saw that first order theory represents the so called paraxial optical systems. Please have a look of the linked article to get a basic view of the ground on which we are discussing this topic. At-least going half-way through the lecture and stopping short of the derivation will do well.

We discussed that there are two kind of aberrations. Monochromatic and Chromatic. As the name suggests the monochromatic aberrations are a result of the discrepancy when we considered our incoming ray to be having a single wavelength of light. The chromatic rays on the other hand can have multiple colors or wavelength of light. The monochromatic aberrations are also called as Seidel or Primary aberrations and we will shed more light on them today. The chromatic aberrations were dealt in greater detail — eg the derivations pertained to the chromatic aberrations. We did so because the chromatic aberrations are simple to understand. More…

Aberrations; a lecture in Optics. 4

Optical systems are studied under two assumptions

object point does not lie far away from the axis of the optical system.

rays taking part in image formation make a small angle with the axis of the optical system.

The domain of optics where above two assumptions are valid is called as Paraxial optics. Paraxial systems are highly idealized and in reality do not perfectly represent the situation. The consequential errors in image reconstruction are known as aberrations.
The paraxial assumption can be represented by truncating at the first term of the polynomial expansion of the sin function by the Maclaurin series. More…