Course syllabus for

Optics 2, 4.5 credits

Optik 2, 4.5 hp
This course syllabus is valid from spring 2020.
Please note that the course syllabus is available in the following versions:
Spring2020 , Spring2022 , Autumn2022
Course code
Course name
Optics 2
4.5 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
G2 - First cycle 2 
Grading scale
Fail (U), pass (G) or pass with distinction (VG)
Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Decided by
Education committee CNS
Decision date
Course syllabus valid from
Spring 2020

Specific entry requirements

No specific entry requirements.


The course intends to give basic knowledge of diffraction and imaging errors in simple optical systems and in the eye and about how one describes image and visual quality that is necessary for continued optician education and work.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to

  • discuss and analyse the resolution in aberration free optical systems.
  • give an account of monochromatic and chromatic aberrations in optical systems
  • assess reasonable demands on F-numbers and visual field of simple optical systems
  • interpret and use information about image quality on the basis of the concepts of point spreading function and MTF
  • account for and rank the different optical limitations of the eye
  • interpret and evaluate measurement results from instruments measuring wavefront aberration of the eye
  • explain and interpret information about visual quality based on the concepts, visual acuity and contrast sensitivity in the eye
  • explain and use relations between image quality and vision quality in the eye


Optical errors Defocus and astigmatism monochromatic aberrations, wavefront aberration, zernike polynomals, the aberrations of the eye, chromatic aberrations, diffraction
Image and visual quality: dissolution, point spread function, MTF, visual acuity and contrast sensitivity, depth of field

Teaching methods

The teaching is given in the form of lectures interleaved with calculation exercises and assisted problem solving where the theoretical knowledge is illustrated and practiced individually through calculation examples.

Exercises and demonstrations are compulsory.


The course is examined through written examination.
The course is graded according to the scale Fail/Pass/Pass with distinction.
For the grade Pass in the course, it is required to have pass on examination and attendance at compulsory elements.
To pass the course with distinction, Pass with distinction on examination and attendance at compulsory elements is required.

Absence from compulsory course elements
The examiner assesses if, and how, absence from compulsory parts can be compensated. Study results cannot be reported until the student has participated in compulsory course elements or compensated for any absence in accordance with instructions from the examiner. Absence from a mandatory education element could mean that the student can not do the part until the next time the course is offered.

Possibility of exception from the course syllabus' regulations on examination
If there are special grounds, or a need for adaptation for a student with a disability, the examiner may decide to deviate from the syllabus's regulations on the examination form, the number of examination opportunities, the possibility of supplementation or exemptions from the compulsory section/s of the course etc. Content and learning outcomes as well as the level of expected knowledge, skills and attitudes may not be changed, removed or reduced.

Transitional provisions

If the course is cancelled or undergoes major changes, students who have not completed the course are given the possibility, during four semesters from the date when the student first registered in the course, to be examined under the then current syllabus After four semesters, the student is examined under the new syllabus.

Other directives

Course evaluation takes place according to guidelines established by Karolinska Institutet.

The course is given in collaboration with the Department of applied physiology at KTH. The course may be given in parallel with the course Basic Optometry 2.

Some teaching may be in English.

Literature and other teaching aids

Recommended literature

Freeman, Michael Harold Optics Hull, C. C.; Charman, W. N.
Rabbetts, R. B. Clinical Visual Optics