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SK2330 Optical Systems 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 offerings are missing for current or upcoming semesters.
Headings with content from the Course syllabus SK2330 (Autumn 2010–) 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 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.
  • Discuss different approaches and methods of optical design.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

For external students the following are required: 120 credits within natural sciences and engineering or corresponding knowledge and documented proficiency in English B or corresponding knowledge.

Recommended previous knowledge:
Optical physics SK2300, or comparable knowledge.

Recommended prerequisites

Optical physics SK2300, or comparable knowledge.


No information inserted


Posted on the course homepage at least a 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

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • LABA - Laboratoy Work, 2.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 4.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, 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 A-F) determines the grade. One laboration and five computer exercises must be completed (LAB1; 2,0 hp, grading scale P/F).

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination



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 room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

Engineering Physics, Physics

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Anna Burvall (