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Handbook of Optical Design, 3rd Edition by Zacarías Malacara-Hernández, Daniel Malacara-Hernández

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18

Lens Design Optimization

18.1  BASIC PRINCIPLES

Up to the late 1940s, all optical designs had to be made by hand calculation, tracing rays with a logarithmic table. This method was extremely tedious and slow. Tracing only one ray through an optical system took many hours of work and patience. The earliest use of a computer to trace rays was probably by James G. Baker in 1944, who used the Mark I calculator at Harvard to trace rays. To trace only one skew ray through an optical surface on this machine took 120 s. At the Institute of Optics of the University of Rochester, the first use of a computer to trace rays was made in 1953 for the IBM 650, by Robert E. Hopkins. Another leader in this field, at the Eastman Kodak Co., was Donald P. ...

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