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FSK3330 Optical Design 6.0 credits

On every optics course you've taken, it has been said "And then there are aberrations, but we don't do them on this course". This is the course where we do the aberrations, including their effect on image quality and standard techniques for reducing them.

This course brings the geometrical optics studied on e.g. the Optical Physics course SK2300 some steps further. Here the aberrations are studied in detail, and the standard ways of removing them introduced. For this, optical design software, including optimization of systems, is used. The course consists of a series of 12 lectures, 5 computer labs, and 1 lab.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus FSK3330 (Spring 2019–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Geometrical optics, aberration theory, evaluation of optical systems, ray-tracing using commercial software, methods of optical design.

Intended learning outcomes

After completing this course, the students should be able to

  • Apply geometrical optics methods, such as lens formulas, graphical methods and ray-tracing, to analyze and develop optical systems.
  • Identify and calculate third-order Seidel and first-order chromatic aberrations, and apply standard design methods to minimize these aberrations.
  • Describe tools (for example MTF, PDF, spot diagrams, or lists of aberration coefficients) for system evaluation, and apply these tools to judge the suitability of an optical system for a specific task.
  • Use ray-tracing software to analyze and optimize optical systems in accordance with customer specifications.
  • Apply different approaches and methods of optical design.
  • Present material relating to optical design in an organized way.

Course disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Admitted to PhD studies in Physics, Biological Physics, or related fields of study.

Recommended prerequisites

Optical physics SK2300 or comparable. 


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To be posted on course homepage at least one month before the course starts.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • LAB1 - Laboratory work, 2.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Exam, 4.0 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Written examination (TEN1; 4,0 hp, grading scale P/F). Two laborations, five computer exercises, and one home task must be completed (LAB1; 2,0 hp, grading scale P/F).

Gradefor the entire courserequirespassing gradeon all parts.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Anna Burvall

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FSK3330

Offered by

SCI/Applied Physics

Main field of study

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Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

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Anna Burvall (

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at SCI/Applied Physics