© 1996

Reflecting Telescope Optics I

Basic Design Theory and its Historical Development


Part of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Library book series (AAL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XIII
  2. Raymond N. Wilson
    Pages 1-19
  3. Raymond N. Wilson
    Pages 21-53
  4. Raymond N. Wilson
    Pages 55-313
  5. Raymond N. Wilson
    Pages 315-402
  6. Raymond N. Wilson
    Pages 403-445
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 447-545

About this book


A global overview is given of theoptical theory, historical development, current situation and future potential of reflecting telescope systems.
This first volume covers basic design theory, providing the reader with the most complete account available. It is thus a source book for the astronomical community and the optical industry. The author's approach is morphological, with strong emphasis on the historial development. The book is richly illustrated including spot-diagrams analysing special systems in modern form. Since all basic forms of reflecting telescope systems are known and the theory is largely completed, this volume should retain long-term validity and interest.


Gaussian Optics aberration theory development optical theory optics reflecting telescope optics telescope

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Rohrbach/IlmGermany

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From the reviews
"... an unequalled reference for those who have interest in the field ... a unique reference in a superb presentation."
ESO Messenger

"The style reflects the author's hard-won intimacy with the optical design, manufacture, and development of telescopes over several decades, and with his continual, effective communication with physical scientists and industrial technologists … It should be brought to the attention of any serious student in the field … The book is well-produced, with the clear text and illustrations … It should have wide appeal to specialist and student alike …"  The Observatory

From the reviews of the second edition:

"The most valuable feature … is the large number of equations, more than 700 in all and over 500 on aberration theory. To help the reader’s understanding of these, the first Appendix gives the meaning of all the symbols used, and where they are defined. … Through its wealth of detail and mathematical rigour, this book can be seen as a modern classic … ." (Roderick Willstrop, The Observatory, Vol. 125 (1184), 2005)

"Part of a two volume set, this 500 plus page hardcover book covers basic design theory for and the historical development of the astronomical reflecting telescope. … This is a ‘serious’ book on reflecting telescope optics … . It is aimed at serious optical engineers who wish to design telescope optical systems from first principles and gain an understanding of the mathematical theory which applies." (Roger Feasey, Journal of the Auckland Astronomical Society AAS, February, 2005)

"R. N. Wilson’s … treatise on Reflecting Telescope Optics has become a classic in its own right. It gives an excellent and complete treatment of the subject, addressing professionals in research and industry as well as students of astronomy and amateur astronomers. … The book is richly illustrated including spot-diagrams analysing special systems in modern form." (Paul Bucher, Optik Vol. 117 (8), 2006)