1. Basic Features of LensLab

Introduction to Chapter 1

1.1 Loading

1.2 Creating Components and Rays

Creating a Component
Creating a Ray

1.3 The DrawSystem Function

1.4 The Move Function

1.5 The ShowSystem Function

1.6 Using DrawSystem for Ray Tracing

Tracing a Single Ray
Tracing a Cone of Rays

1.7 Adding a Cylindrical Lens to the System

1.8 Using RayChoice

1.9 Using Screen to Look at the Focal Plane

1.10 The ShowRange Option

1.11 The ReadRays Function

1.12 Energy Calculations with FindIntensity

2-D Calculations with FindIntensity
Measuring the Point Spread Function
Measuring the Modulation Transfer Function
1-D Calculations with FindIntensity

1.13 The Resonate Function

Introduction to Chapter 1

This chapter will provide you with an introduction to LensLab's basic features. By learning the functions introduced in this chapter, you will have a foothold for using LensLab. First we learn how to define components and rays using LensLab's built-in functions. Later, in Section 1.6, we use components and rays together for ray tracing. Before beginning, we must first load LensLab into memory.

Loading LensLab

Make sure that the LensLab package is located either in the home directory, or on a directory path recognized by Mathematica for packages. The LensLab package is named LensLab.m and located in the LensLab directory, and the LensLab package is loaded with the following expression.


LensLab version 1.5 is now loaded.

This loading process should only take a few seconds. In addition to being loaded as a package, the LensLab.m file is formatted as a Mathematica notebook. The LensLab source code is made accessible so that you can develop new functions of your own by studying LensLab's built-in functions. This is particularly helpful when you wish to model new component ideas in LensLab. However, you should receive permission from Optica Software before distributing any user-created functions that are derived from the LensLab source code. The unauthorized distribution of LensLab-derived code may be a LensLab license agreement violation or a copyright infringement.

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1.2 Creating Components and Rays

There are two distinct types of Mathematica objects defined and used with LensLab, namely Component and Ray. Component describes optical components and Ray describes rays. In this section we learn how to create Component and Ray.

Creating a Component

LensLab has many built-in functions for creating Component objects. An example of such a component function is PlanoConvexLens.  First we define PlanoConvexLens.

PlanoConvexLens[ focallength, aperture, thickness, options] refers to a lens with a planar surface on one side and a convex spherical surface on the other side.

PlanoConvexLens outputs a Component object carrying the description for a planoconvex lens element. Next we use PlanoConvexLens.



Hidden behind the "PlanoConvexLens" output returned to the screen is a large expression headed by Component that describes a planoconvex lens having a focal length of 100 millimeters, a circular aperture 50 millimeters in diameter, and a lens center thickness of 10 millimeters. Instead of showing this entire expression, LensLab normally hides the contents of Component by outputting back to the screen a single descriptive label of the component. You can learn about the anatomy of Component in Chapter 10.

You can use Component objects immediately after creating them for doing ray tracing and rendering, or you can assign created Component objects to variables for future work. While focallength, aperture, and thickness are all parameters given explicitly in the inputs of PlanoConvexLens, other implicit parameters (such as the type of refractive material) are options of PlanoConvexLens.

We use Options to see the default options of PlanoConvexLens.


RowBox[{{, RowBox[{ComponentMediumBK7, ,, RowBox[{Temperature, , 20.}], ,, Tra ... eRendering {{Fill, Trace}}, EdgeRenderingFill, CrossRenderingEmpty}}], }}]

Notice that the first option is ComponentMedium -> BK7. This option indicates that the refractive material of the planoconvex lens is assumed to be made of BK7 glass material. See Section 6.9 for more information about the refractive index options used in LensLab. Other options of PlanoConvexLens are described in Sections 3.9, 3.11, 6.3, and 6.4.

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Creating a Ray

LensLab also has many built-in functions for creating rays. Called ray sources, these functions generate various types of ray-tracing light sources. The simplest type of ray source is Ray[]. First we define Ray.

Ray[options] contains rules that characterize a single ray of light as it propagates through component surfaces and creates a single Ray object with its starting position at the origin and directed down the positive x axis.

Next we use Ray.



Ray is used by LensLab to initiate a single ray trace down the x axis in space. Like Component, LensLab normally hides the contents of Ray by outputting the "Ray" message back to the screen. After a ray trace has been carried out, there will be as many new Ray objects created as there are optical surfaces encountered by the single ray. Each Ray object contains information about a particular intersection point with an optical surface. You can learn about the anatomy of Ray objects in Chapter 9.

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1.3 The DrawSystem Function

The most important function in LensLab is DrawSystem. DrawSystem is used for both rendering and ray tracing. We now define DrawSystem.

DrawSystem[objectset, options] takes an object set containing a mixed list of Ray, Component, and OpticalSystem objects, propagates the rays through the components, and renders the ray-tracing result according to PlotType, RayChoice, ShowRange, and ColorView options.

Next we render the planoconvex lens with DrawSystem.



{{PlanoConvexLens}, -OpticsGraphics-}

PlanoConvexLens is created with its first surface at the origin and its second surface positioned down the positive x axis. The aperture parameter of PlanoConvexLens may designate a circle, rectangle, or polygon, depending on the number and type of elements listed by it. Here we create a circular lens having a diameter of 50 millimeters by using 50 in the aperture parameter. You can learn more about shaping the edges of components in Section 6.8. After rendering the planoconvex lens, DrawSystem returns the Component object back to its output. You can suppress the printed text by including a semicolon at the end of the input expression.

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1.4 The Move Function

To put an optical component at a location other than x = 0, y = 0, z = 0, Move is needed. You can also use Move to move rays around in space. We first define Move.

Move[objectset, {x, y}, rotationangle, options] is used to move the relative position and orientation of a set of components and rays within a horizontal plane.

The rotationangle determines the angular orientation of the object set within the horizontal plane. The option TwistAngle -> # can be used to specify a rotation around the axis of orientation. Other related commands used for positioning components and rays include: Move3D, MoveDirected, MoveDirected3D, MoveLinear, MoveLinear3D, MoveReflected, and MoveReflected3D. We next use Move in DrawSystem to draw two lenses spaced apart from each other. We place the first one at x = 0, y = 0, with no rotation, and a second one at x = 100, y = 0, with a 45-degree rotation. See Chapter 4 to learn more about the various Move functions.



This time the printed text has been surpressed with a semicolon at the end of DrawSystem.

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1.5 The ShowSystem Function

To avoid recalculating the optical system, you can display any previously calculated system more quickly by using ShowSystem. First we define ShowSystem.

ShowSystem[objectset, options] takes objectset made up of Ray, Component, and OpticalSystem objects and renders them according to PlotType, RayChoice, ShowRange, and ColorView options.

ShowSystem and DrawSystem share many of the same options. Here we define the PlotType option.

PlotType is an option of DrawSystem and ShowSystem designating the display form of the graphics rendering.

PlotType takes TopView, FrontView, SideView, Full3D, Off, Surface, and ShadowProject as word values. Here we use PlotType->TopView with ShowSystem.



The % symbol feeds the output from the previous result into the expression input. Here the output from DrawSystem of the last example has been used as input to ShowSystem in this example.

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1.6 Using DrawSystem for Ray Tracing

You can do ray tracing in LensLab using either DrawSystem or PropagateSystem. PropagateSystem is called internally by DrawSystem. Here we define PropagateSystem.

PropagateSystem[objectset, options] takes objectset made up of a mixed list of Ray, Component, and OpticalSystem objects, traces the rays through the components, and returns the ray-tracing result as an OpticalSystem object carrying a divided listing of Ray and Component objects.

PropagateSystem works in the following way. PropagateSystem takes the input objectset and separates the Ray objects from the Component objects, storing each Ray object's original position index as a parameter within the Ray object's shell (since the relative ordering of the Ray objects within the mixed Ray/Component object set determines the propagation starting position of each ray within the component list.) Each time a ray intersects a component surface, a new Ray object is created containing new Ray parameter values that are either updated from old parameters or introduced as new parameters, according to the component's ray-tracing functions. If only Ray objects, Component objects, or a single OpticalSystem object exists at the input, then PropagateSystem returns them without change. For each object headed by OpticalSystem present in the object set input (indicating a previous ray-trace result), PropagateSystem separates and propagates only the last generation of Ray objects present, using all Component objects present.

Since PropagateSystem performs ray tracing without rendering the results, you can use PropagateSystem when you are interested only in quantitative results without the pretty pictures. However, since DrawSystem performs both the ray tracing and rendering, we use DrawSystem for most of the examples in this manual.

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Tracing a Single Ray

Next we trace a single ray through a lens using Ray and PlanoConvexLens with DrawSystem. First we need to set up a boundary to contain the rays. For this we use Boundary.

Boundary[boundaryparameters] denotes a rectangular box that absorbs rays intercepted by its walls.

There are three methods for specifying boundaryparameters: Boundary[{x1, y1, z1}, {x2, y2, z2}] uses the coordinates of top and bottom opposite corners of a rectangular box, Boundary[side] assumes a cube boundary, and Boundary[aside, bside] assumes a three-dimensional box having a length specified by aside, a width specified by bside, and a height specified by bside. Optical systems propagating rays usually have at least one boundary component listed at the end. Boundary is not rendered. In this example we use Boundary[200].

Finally we use DrawSystem for ray tracing. This time we leave off the semicolon from DrawSystem, allowing the text output to be printed.



OpticalSystem[{Ray, Ray, Ray}, {PlanoConvexLens, Boundary}, -OpticsGraphics-]

Three Ray objects are returned by DrawSystem, each created at an optical surface and holding a record about a particular surface intersection with the ray.

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Tracing a Cone of Rays

To propagate several rays through a lens, you can use a ray source function. Here we define ConeOfRays. More ray source functions are discussed in Section 2.3.

ConeOfRays[conicangle, options] creates a set of rays, starting at the origin, equally distributed on the surface of a cone placed symmetrically about the positive x axis.

Next we use ConeOfRays in DrawSystem for ray tracing.



You can change the way components are rendered with GraphicDesign. First, we define GraphicDesign.

GraphicDesign is an option of all rendered components designating the style of rendering.  

GraphicDesign can be set to Automatic, Sketch, Wire, Solid, or Off. Here we use GraphicDesign->Wire in PlanoConvexLens.



Now we use PlotType->SideView with ShowSystem to look at the rendered result from the side.



Finally we view the result from the front.



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1.7 Adding a Cylindrical Lens to the System

For some additional interest, we place a cylindrical lens directly behind the planoconvex lens. The cylindrical lens component is created with PlanoConvexCylindricalLens. Here we use {50,50} in the aperture parameter of PlanoConvexCylindricalLens to make a rectangular-edged cylindrical lens. The shapes of component apertures are discussed further in Section 6.8.

opticalsystem = DrawSystem[{
    Move[PlanoConvexLens[100,50,10,GraphicDesign->Wire], 100],
    Move[PlanoConvexCylindricalLens[100,{50,50},10, GraphicDesign->Wire],130],


Again, we see different views of the system.





You can make exact positional measurements in the two-dimensional fields by clicking on the graphics display cell with the mouse and then holding down the Command key while moving the cursor over the image. The cursor coordinates are displayed in the bottom corner of the window. More accurate measurements can be taken by expanding the graphic display size. By examining the TopView image, we measure the focus position to be x = 218 millimeters.

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1.8 Using RayChoice

You can use RayChoice to display portions of the ray-tracing result. Here we define RayChoice.

RayChoice -> selectionproperties uses selectionproperties to selectively display ray segments in DrawSystem and ShowSystem.

Now we use RayChoice to examine the ray segments after the cylindrical lens in the system. We use RayChoice->{ComponentNumber->3} to view the ray segments immediately following the cylindrical lens. Here we use ComponentNumber to choose ray segments associated with a particular component. You can learn more about ComponentNumber and other ray pointers in Section 9.3.

ShowSystem[opticalsystem, RayChoice->{ComponentNumber->3}];


You can also use PlotType->Surface with RayChoice to look at the ray intersection points on any surface in the ray-tracing result. We now define Surface.

Surface is a value of PlotType giving a two-dimensional plot showing selected intersection points between rays and one or more optical surfaces.

Next we use RayChoice->{ComponentNumber->2} with PlotType->Surface to view the intersection points on the two surfaces of the cylindrical lens.

ShowSystem[opticalsystem, PlotType->Surface, RayChoice->{ComponentNumber->2}];


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1.9 Using Screen to Look at the Focal Plane

Screen defines a component that samples rays at a given plane in space. You can use Screen to look at the focal plane of a system. More advanced screens can have curved surfaces and circular or polygonal boundaries. Here is the definition of Screen.

Screen[aperture, options] denotes a planar component that intersects rays without disturbing them.

Next we use Screen in DrawSystem to look at the focal plane of the previous system. We use Move to place the screen at the focal position x = 218 as measured in Section 1.7.

screensystem = DrawSystem[{
    Move[PlanoConvexLens[100,50,10 ],100],


Note that this graphical output shows little indication of a screen being placed in the system other than some additional colored points at the ray/screen intersection. However, by using PlotType->Surface with RayChoice->{ComponentNumber->3}, we clearly see ray intersection points at the screen surface.

ShowSystem[screensystem,PlotType->Surface, RayChoice->{ComponentNumber->3}];


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1.10 The ShowRange Option

Another useful option is ShowRange. You can use ShowRange to zoom in on a particular portion of the system.

ShowRange -> values uses ComponentNumber values to select the components and ray segments displayed by DrawSystem and ShowSystem.

ShowRange can take either the value All or a list of the ComponentNumber values. Here we examine the ray segments connected with the cylindrical lens.



ShowRange works differently from RayChoice because ShowRange displays selected components associated with the selected ray segments. In addition, ShowRange only works with ComponentNumber values whereas RayChoice works with many different selection parameters. See Section 6.3 for the other rendering options of DrawSystem.

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1.11 The ReadRays Function

It is often desirable to get specific parameter values for a selected group of intersection points at an optical surface. This can be accomplished by using ReadRays.

ReadRays[objectset, rayparameters, selectionproperties, options] is an advanced function that takes objectset containing Ray objects and returns a list of values for rayparameters given.

Here we use ReadRays to examine the optical path-length of rays at the focal plane. Using the optical path-length parameter OpticalLength, we use the ComponentNumber->3 as a selection property to examine the optical path-length from the ray starting point to the surface of the screen component.


RowBox[{{, RowBox[{228.706, ,, 228.552, ,, 228.49, ,, 228.652, ,, 228.652, ,, 228.49, ,, 228.552}], }}]

To see more decimal places, we use InputForm.


{228.7056856186972, 228.5522736042738, 228.49049069994487, 228.65214729175403, 228.65214729175403, 228.49049069994487, 228.5522736042738}

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1.12 Energy Calculations with FindIntensity

LensLab can help you determine the light intensity profile at specified optical surfaces and to measure the transmitted energy through the optical system. This is accomplished with the FindIntensity function.

FindIntensity[system, options] calculates the intensity function for each optical surface that gets reported from the ray trace of the system.

For its input, FindIntensity works best with either an untraced "raw" optical system or a previously calculated result by FindIntensity. However, when required, FindIntensity can also work with externally generated trace results. FindIntensity works equally well for surfaces that either are close to a focal plane or far from any focus. If a light sheet source is used (ie. WedgeOfRays or LineOfRays), then a one-dimensional intensity function is automatically calculated by FindIntensity. If a volume-filling source is used (ie. PointOfRays or GridOfRays), then the intensity calculations are automatically carried out for each reported surface in two-dimensions. Because FindIntensity does not calculate interference or keep track of the coherent phase information, it can only measure incoherent light flux properties.

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2-D Calculations with FindIntensity

As an example, we will plot the intensity present for a planar cross-section of a Gaussian beam. We will use GridOfRays function to generate a three-dimensional pattern of rays. FindIntensity uses the Plot2D option to specify how the intensity information is rendered. With Plot2D -> False, the intensity is rendered as a three-dimensional plot. (Plot2D -> True constructs a two-dimensional plot.) In addition, the plot is colored according to the intensity levels present.

intensityresult =
    GridOfRays[{20,20}, NumberOfRays->32],
    Move[Screen[50],50]}, Plot2D -> False]

RowBox[{Surface Information : , , RowBox[{{, RowBox[{ComponentNumber1, ,, Surf ... 1, ,, NumberOfRays1024, ,, RowBox[{SmoothKernelSize, , 0.912396}]}], }}]}]


RowBox[{{, RowBox[{ComponentNumber1, ,, RowBox[{Energy, , 102400.}], ,, Full3D ...  }}]}], }}]}], ,, RowBox[{SmoothKernelSize, , 0.912396}], ,, SurfaceNumber1}], }}]

Note that since we specified NumberOfRays -> 32 there have been, in fact, 32^2 = 2048 rays created. In general, you are free to choose the number of rays to be traced with FindIntensity. Bear in mind, however, that there needs to be a sufficient number of ray samples to make the FindIntensity result meaningful. As a rule of thumb, NumberOfRays -> 32 is the minimum value required for reasonable full-surface calculations (to produce 4096 rays) and NumberOfRays -> 256 is the minimum required for light-sheet ray-traces (to produce 256 rays).

You can use Options[FindIntensity] to observe its default option settings.


RowBox[{{, RowBox[{KernelScaleRelative, ,, SmoothKernelSize1, ,, SmoothKernelR ... , ,, SampleFactor2, ,, RecenterDataFalse, ,, RunningCommentaryFalse}], }}]

Here we can see that FindIntensity uses a number of options that we have not encountered before. The most significant of these are listed below.


IntensitySetting Print
SequentialRead ReportedSurfaces
IntensityScale Show
KernelScale SmoothKernelRange
Plot2D SmoothKernelSize

Options that help characterize FindIntensity.

While some of these options will be considered further in this section, others will be left to discussion elsewhere.

In addition to showing information as a three-dimensional plot, the Plot2D option in FindIntensity has several other settings. Its settings are shown below.

False or Full3D gives the full three-dimensional rendering of the intensity profile.
True or SideView gives a two-dimensional cross-section rendering at the x-z plane of the intensity profile.
FrontView gives a two-dimensional cross-section rendering at the y-z plane of the intensity profile.
ContourPlot gives a contour plot of the intensity profile.

Settings of Plot2D.

Next we shall plot the same FindIntensity calculation with its default plot setting (Plot2D -> ContourPlot). We will use Print -> False to switch off the printed messages. (Show -> False can be used to switch off the graphical rendering.)

FindIntensity[intensityresult, Print -> False]


RowBox[{{, RowBox[{ComponentNumber1, ,, RowBox[{Energy, , 102400.}], ,, Full3D ...  }}]}], }}]}], ,, RowBox[{SmoothKernelSize, , 0.912396}], ,, SurfaceNumber1}], }}]

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In the previous example, we examined the intensity at a single surface. However, if multiple surfaces are reported, FindIntensity can measure the energy losses in the system that occurs between the first reported surface and every subsequent reported surface. We will see this in the next example. Here, we use an PinHole as a pupil that restricts the transmitted light through a lens. In addition, we will use FindIntensity to calculate the point spread function of the optical system by placing one of the reported surfaces at the lens focal point. Before running FindIntensity, we will first use DrawSystem to show a ray-trace of our intended system.

trace = DrawSystem[{GridOfRays[{20,20}, NumberOfRays->12],
    Move[Screen[50],225]}, PlotType->Full3D];


In order to measure the point spread function of the lens system, you first need to determine the focal point of the system. You can use the FindFocus function for this. Here is a description of FindFocus.

FindFocus[objectset, selectionproperties, options] determines the minimum spot size for a locus of rays specified in selectionproperties and plots the results.

Next, we can use the FindFocus function to find focal point of our lens system. In this case, since we have already calculated a ray trace using DrawSystem, we can simply pass to FindFocus the result of our previous calculation.

focus = FindFocus[trace,ComponentNumber->3]


RowBox[{{, RowBox[{RowBox[{FocalPoint, , RowBox[{{, RowBox[{153.135, ,, 0., ,, 0.}], } ... 3.1427}], ,, RowBox[{FocalPlaneTilt, , RowBox[{{, RowBox[{1., ,, 0., ,, 0.}], }}]}]}], }}]

FindFocus has automatically generated a plot of the locus of rays at the focal plane. In addition, FindFocus returns a series of rules that describe various aspects of its focus calculation. Of the different rules returned by FindFocus, we are only presently interested in the FocalPoint rule since it holds the three-dimensional focal-point coordinates. As such, we can assign the focal point result to a focalpoint variable in the following way:

focalpoint = FocalPoint/.focus

RowBox[{{, RowBox[{153.135, ,, 0., ,, 0.}], }}]

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Measuring the Point Spread Function

We are now ready to apply FindIntensity to our lens system to measure the point spread function of the system. This time, we will place a Screen object at the focalpoint determined by FindFocus.

focusintensity =
FindIntensity[{GridOfRays[{20,20}, NumberOfRays->32],
    Move[Screen[{.6,.6}],focalpoint]}, Plot2D -> False]

RowBox[{Surface Information : , , RowBox[{{, RowBox[{ComponentNumber3, ,, Surf ... #62754;1, ,, NumberOfRays432, ,, RowBox[{SmoothKernelSize, , 0.00376605}]}], }}]}]


RowBox[{{, RowBox[{ComponentNumber3, ,, RowBox[{Energy, , 43200.}], ,, Full3D& ... }]}], }}]}], ,, RowBox[{SmoothKernelSize, , 0.00376605}], ,, SurfaceNumber1}], }}]

Previously, we had used Plot2D -> False to display a three-dimensional plot of the surface intensity profile. Next we will call FindIntensity for a second time with Plot2D -> True to examine the intensity function along the horizontal-axis of each surface.

FindIntensity[focusintensity, Plot2D -> True];

RowBox[{Surface Information : , , RowBox[{{, RowBox[{ComponentNumber3, ,, Surf ... #62754;1, ,, NumberOfRays432, ,, RowBox[{SmoothKernelSize, , 0.00376605}]}], }}]}]


The last intensity plot is taken at the focal plane of the system and shows the point spread function. FindIntensity works by convolving a Gaussian smoothing kernel with the ray-trace data. However, the result may not accurately depict the diffractive performance of the system. In particular, FindIntensity automatically adjusts the smooth kernel size to maximize the measurement resolution to the available ray-density. In this way, if the number of input rays are sufficiently great, FindIntensity models the geometric behavior of the system. However, you can approximate some effects of the diffraction performance if you have independent knowledge of the diffraction-limited spot-size for the system. In this case, you can manually set the SmoothKernelSize option to correspond with the diffraction-limited spot-size of the optical system (together with KernelScale -> Absolute). In that case, the intensity plot generated by FindIntensity can depict both the geometric and incoherent diffractive properties of a system. However, if the SmoothKernelSize is manually set, it is always necessary that make sure that there are a sufficient number of rays are present in order to meet the Nyquist sampling criterion. Otherwise, the resulting calculation will not be correct. Here is the definition of SmoothKernelSize.

SmoothKernelSize -> radius is an option that specifies the radius of a Gaussian smoothing kernel: Exp[-s^2/radius^2], where s is distance along the surface. In particular, this smoothing kernel is convolved with another function in order to low-pass filter its shape along a spatial surface.

SmoothKernelSize works together with the KernelScale option to smooth the calculated intensity function. Here is the definition of KernelScale.

KernelScale -> Relative / Absolute is used with FindIntensity to specify the form of the SmoothKernelSize option.

KernelScale -> Relative indicates that the specified SmoothKernelSize dimensions is a relative multiplicative factor of the minimum estimated spatial sampling dimension, as determined from Nyquist sampling criteria. KernelScale -> Absolute denotes that the specified SmoothKernelSize dimensions are given in absolute spatial dimensions.

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Measuring the Modulation Transfer Function

Now that we have used FindIntensity to determine the point spread function of this lens system, we can also calculate the ModulationTransferFunction of this system. First we define ModulationTransferFunction.

ModulationTransferFunction[intensitydata, options] calculates the modulation and phase transfer functions of an optical system for a given object source input.

ModulationTransferFunction works together with FindIntensity. As input, ModulationTransferFunction takes the returned output from FindIntensity. The optical system must contain a light source followed by the imaging optics with the focal surface as its last element.


RowBox[{{, RowBox[{SpatialScale1, ,, FrequencyCutoffAutomatic, ,, PaddingFacto ... +, 0.1}]}], ]}], &}], )}]}], ,, RenderedParameters {ModulationTransferFunction}}], }}]



RowBox[{{, RowBox[{ComponentNumber3, ,, RowBox[{Energy, , 43200.}], ,, RowBox[ ... }]}], }}]}], ,, RowBox[{SmoothKernelSize, , 0.00376605}], ,, SurfaceNumber1}], }}]

ModulationTransferFunction works equally well for both point sources and planar sources, as long as the described imaging system contains a focus. If a one-dimensional light source is used (ie. WedgeOfRays or LineOfRays), then a one-dimensional modulation transfer function is calculated. If a two-dimensional light source is used (ie. PointOfRays or GridOfRays), then the optical transfer function calculations are carried out in two-dimensions.

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1-D Calculations with FindIntensity

Next we will examine a light-sheet intensity calculation of the same optical system. This is accomplished by setting FullForm -> False in GaussianBeam. An initial trace of the optical system with TurboPlot reveals that the rays occupy a two-dimensional plane.

DrawSystem[{LineOfRays[20, NumberOfRays->32],
    Move[Screen[50],focalpoint]}, PlotType->Full3D];


We will now apply FindIntensity to this system. This time, however, we use NumberOfRays->512 with LineOfRays. With such a large number of rays, FindIntensity can accurately model the geometric intensity properties of the light flux.  In addition, we will use the ReportedSurfaces option to specify the optical surfaces that we are interested in measuring intensity. In this case, we specify ReportedSurfaces -> {{1,1},{3,1}} to examine the first and third components. In this case, each surface is specified with a list of two ordered numbers where the first number gives the component list order and the second number indicates a particular surface within the component-grouping of surfaces.

intensity = FindIntensity[{LineOfRays[20, NumberOfRays->512],
    Move[Screen[{.6,.6}],focalpoint]}, ReportedSurfaces->{{1,1},{3,1}}]

RowBox[{Surface Information : , , RowBox[{{, RowBox[{ComponentNumber1, ,, Surf ... 1, ,, NumberOfRays512, ,, RowBox[{SmoothKernelSize, , 0.0391389}]}], }}]}]


RowBox[{Surface Information : , , RowBox[{{, RowBox[{ComponentNumber3, ,, Surf ... 62754;1, ,, NumberOfRays384, ,, RowBox[{SmoothKernelSize, , 0.000588641}]}], }}]}]


RowBox[{{, RowBox[{RowBox[{{, RowBox[{ComponentNumber1, ,, RowBox[{Energy, , 5 ... ]}], ,, RowBox[{SmoothKernelSize, , 0.000588641}], ,, SurfaceNumber1}], }}]}], }}]


RowBox[{{, RowBox[{51200., ,, 38400.}], }}]

Here we see that reported Energy information shows a decrease in the transmitted energy between the first and last reported surface. In particular, there is a slight loss as a result of the aperture stop. In LensLab, the Energy value is not calibrated to any particular units. However, its relative amount is conservative and varies linearly with the light absorption. We can again use ModulationTransferFunction with our FindIntensity result. This time, however, we need to pass only the information from the focal surface. In addition, we can abbreviate the ModulationTransferFunction command with MTF.



RowBox[{{, RowBox[{ComponentNumber3, ,, RowBox[{Energy, , 38400.}], ,, RowBox[ ... 8}], }}]}], ,, RowBox[{SmoothKernelSize, , 0.000588641}], ,, SurfaceNumber1}], }}]

This example demonstrates one of the great pitfalls in using a two-dimensional result to model a three-dimensional system. In particular, it is a strong temptation to assume that one can use the results from a two-dimensional ray trace to gauge the performance of a three-dimensional system. Unfortunately, this can be an erroneous assumption. As illustrated by this example, such intensity calculations can be very different from a three-dimensional ray-trace. This is particularly evident at the focal plane in this example, where both the point spread function and modulation transfer function looks very different from the previous three-dimensional example. This is because the energy density from the three-dimensional trace through a radially symmetric lens system is much more concentrated along optical axis. This last result actually depicts the behavior of a cylindrical lens system better than a plano-convex lens in three dimensions. However, because the ray density is far greater in this recent example, it has a much better spatial resolution than the previous example and quite accurately depicts the geometric light flux behavior of the two-dimensional system.

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1.13 The Resonate Function

Resonate is used to create non-sequential behavior between formerly distinct optical elements. Resonate is routinely used by many built-in component functions of LensLab to describe complex optical elements, such as multi-faceted prisms. Since many optical systems do require non-sequential ray interactions between multiple component surfaces, Resonate is one of the most important functions in LensLab. Here we define Resonate.

Resonate[listofcomponents, options] causes a ray to be nonsequentially traced within all of the surfaces defined by listofcomponents.

LensLab always traces rays between distinct optical components in a sequential fashion. This means that the ray-trace is always occurring in the same sequence as the component list order. However, anytime the ray trace occurs within the surfaces of an optical component (such as a Prism) then non-sequential ray-tracing becomes possible. In some cases, however, it becomes necessary for rays to travel non-sequentially between one or more components. For this purpose, you can use Resonate. Lets take, for an example, the case of a lens-mirror combination. Here, the rays might travel through a lens, reflect off a mirror, and then travel back through the same lens for a second pass. In its normal mode of operation, LensLab does not see the lens on the second pass when the components are listed separately.



We can instead combine the lens and mirror with Resonate to create a self-contained non-sequential aggregate of the surfaces present.

lensMirror =
    }, "Lens-Mirror"]


Although the lens and mirror are still identified in the output as independent elements, in fact, Resonate has melded their information into a single Component object. This can be observed if we examine the Head of the lensMirror variable assignment:



This indicates that the lens and mirror surfaces have been joined together under a single Component roof! The rays now correctly trace through this new arrangement.



You can learn more about Resonate and non-sequential tracing in Section 2.4 of the following chapter on non-sequential ray-tracing.

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Created by Mathematica  (November 4, 2005)