The IBM Card Programmed Electronic Calculator has been applied to the problem of lens design. Optical design is an inverse process consisting of a provisional choice of optical parameters, an exhaustive mathematical study of such a tentative prescription, and subsequent refinement of the lens system.
The standard ray tracing equations can be adapted easily for machine use. The mathematical treatment is algebraic rather than trigonometric. Examples of meridional and skew ray tracing are given. A satisfactory lens has been calculated and tested entirely by machine methods.
The machine is expected to be of value in the refining of optical systems, in the determination of optical shop tolerances, and in the investigation of existing prescriptions.
WILLIAM A. ALLEN and RICHARD H. STARK, "Ray Tracing Using the IBM Card Programmed Electronic Calculator," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 41, 636-639 (1951)