Standard Article

Geometric Optics

  1. Roland Shack

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/3527600434.eap296.pub2

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

How to Cite

Shack, R. 2005. Geometric Optics. Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. .

Author Information

  1. University of Arizona, Optical Sciences Center, Tucson, Arizona, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


This article reviews the most elementary theory of optics, namely geometric optics, and describes its connection to quantum optics and other high-level theories. The basics of light propagation in the form of rays and wave-fronts are described. The main emphasis is on optical image-forming systems and system aberrations. This article provides basic knowledge for any optical engineer.


  • geometric optics;
  • optical engineering;
  • image formation;
  • aberrations;
  • imaging systems