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Understanding paraxial ray tracing

Paraxial rays and parabasal rays are often used in OpticStudio to calculate system data and analysis results. It is important to understand what these rays are in order to avoid confusion in analysis results. This article discusses these special rays and how they differ from each other and from real rays.
This article is accompanied by a downloadable ZIP archive containing the sample files used and a ZPL macro.

Authored By: Mark Nicholson

Published On: July 21, 2005

How to Model Corner-Cube Retroreflectors

Corner Cube retroreflectors are commonly used in a wide range of optical systems. This article describes various different ways in which these components can be modeled in Zemax OpticStudio. The treatment can be as detailed as the user needs, with effects due to face misalignment, roofline straddling, thin-film coatings, diffraction etc included as required.

Authored By: Mark Nicholson

Published On: December 14, 2015

How to Debug a Double-Pass Lens File

This article describes an easy way to test whether a double-pass lens file is correctly set up, or not, and to identify where any errors are.

Authored By: Mark Nicholson

Published On: January 4, 2016

How to Model a Scanning Mirror

This article explains:
  • How to set up the coordinate breaks needed to make a scanning mirror
  • How to use the Multiple Configuration Editor to sample multiple scan angles
  • How to set up a galvanometer-style scanning mirror, where the mirror tilts about its vertex
  • How to set up a polygon scanning mirror, where the mirror tilts about an offset point

The article is accompanied by a ZIP archive containing the sample Zemax OpticStudio files used. This can be downloaded from the final page of the article.


Authored By: Mark Nicholson

Published On: December 15, 2015

How to Generate Cross-Section and Moment Data for an Extended Source using Geometric Image Analysis

This article describes how to use the Geometric Image Analysis feature to generate cross-section plots of and moment data (centroid, RMS width) for an extended source. This feature may also be used to generate results for a point source (in the limit where the source size is set to zero), allowing Geometric Image Analysis to supplement results provided by the Spot Diagram.

Authored By: Sanjay Gangadhara

Published On: December 15, 2015

What Does the Sampling Correspond to in Wavefront-Based Calculations?

This article describes how to interpret the sampling used in wavefront-based analyses such as the Wavefront Map, the PSF and the MTF.

Authored By: Ken Moore

Published On: December 15, 2015

How to Draw Specific Rays in Zemax Layouts

This article explains:
  • How to draw desired rays in the Zemax OpticStudio Layouts via the RAYLIST
  • What the RAYLIST is
  • The difference between IMPLICIT and EXPLICIT methods for defining rays in the RAYLIST
  • How to use each format with visual aids

Authored By: Dan Hill

Published On: October 14, 2015

How Do I Monitor and Control Usage of the Network Key?

This article is for server administrators using a Zemax OpticStudio or Lensmechanix network softkey or red USB hardkey. It covers logging license usage, password protection, user and computer restrictions, as well as the detachable license feature to use a license seat when not connected to the network. You will need to complete the steps to setup the network license on the server first, per the article How to Install the Network License Version of OpticStudio

This article is not intended to address monitoring usage of black USB network dongles. For information on monitoring black USB network keys, please visit this page.


Introduction to the Sentinel Admin Control Center

Viewing user sessions and checked out licenses


License seat check out on the client

Q&A for Softkey and Red USB Network Licenses

Addendum: Restarting the Sentinel LDK License Manager Service to fix issues

Authored By: Alissa Wilczynski

Published On: October 4, 2016

What Are The S and P Polarization States?

Question: What are the S and P polarization states, and how do I enter a beam that is s-polarized?

Authored By: Mark Nicholson

Published On: August 1, 2007

What Happens if a License is Lost, Stolen or Damaged?

This article describes Zemax policy on replacing lost, stolen, or damaged softkeys and hardkeys.

Authored By: Kristen Norton

Published On: June 20, 2017

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