All optical instruments or systems contain a series of optical components. Each of these components has a specific function involving the collection, refraction, reflection, or deviation of the light coming from the object. This chapter is intended to give the reader a basic level of familiarity with this family of optical components. Armed with this information, the optical engineer will be better equipped to specify, design, and analyze a broad range of optical systems. The three optical components most commonly encountered are: the lens, the mirror, and the prism. Each of these will be described here in some detail, including a discussion of typical applications and performance limitations.
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