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This book provides a unified treatment of the characteristics of telescopes of all types, both those whose performance is set by geometrical aberrations and the effect of the atmosphere, and those diffraction-limited telescopes designed for observations from above the atmosphere. The emphasis throughout is on basic principles, such as Fermat's principle, and their application to optical systems specifically designed to image distant celestial sources.
The book also contains thorough discussions of the principles underlying all spectroscopic instrumentation, with special emphasis on grating instruments used with telescopes. An introduction to adaptive optics provides the needed background for further inquiry into this rapidly developing area.
Introduction. Preliminaries: Definitions and Paraxial Optics. Fermat's Principle: An Introduction. Introduction to Aberrations. Fermat's Principle and Aberrations. Reflecting Telescopes. Schmidt Telescopes and Cameras. Catadioptric Telescopes and Cameras. Auxiliary Optics for Telescopes. Diffraction Theory and Aberrations. Transfer Functions: Hubble Space Telescope. Spectrometry: Definitions and Basic Principles. Dispersing Elements and Systems. Grating Aberrations: Concave Grating Spectrometers. Adaptive Optics: An Introduction. Detectors, Signal-to-Noise, and Detection Limits. Large Mirrors and Telescope Arrays. Table of Symbols. Index.