This “book” is not intended to be a vast, definitive treatment of everything that is known about geometric optics. It covers, rather, the geometric optics of first-year students, whom it will either help or confuse yet further, though I hope the former. The part of geometric optics that often causes the most difficulty, particularly in getting the right answer for homework or examination problems, is the vexing matter of sign conventions in lens and mirror calculations.
- An optical instrument either processes light waves to enhance an image for viewing, or analyzes light waves (or photons) to determine one of a number of characteristic properties. The intent of the chapter is mainly to give a little bit of help to beginning students who are struggling to answer examination question of the type “A microscope consists of two lenses of such-and-such focal lengths. What is the magnification?”