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PH4035   Principles of Optics

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 15

ECTS credits : 7

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 2

Availability restrictions: Not automatically available to General Degree students

Planned timetable: 12.00 noon odd Mon, Wed, Fri, 3 pm even Tue (TBC)

This module formulates the main aspects of physics used in modern optics, lasers and optoelectronic systems. Topics covered include: polarised light and its manipulation, with descriptions in terms of Jones' vectors and matrices; Fresnel's equations for transmittance and reflectance at plane dielectric interfaces; reflection and transmission of multi-layer thin films plus their use in interference filters; interpretation of diffraction patterns in terms of Fourier theory; spatial filters; the theory and use of Fabry-Perot etalons; laser cavities and Gaussian beams.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass PH3081 or pass PH3082 or ( pass MT2506 and pass MT2507 )

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 3 lectures or tutorials.

Scheduled learning hours: 32

Guided independent study hours: 118

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2-hour Written Examination = 75%, Coursework = 25%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 75%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 25%

Re-assessment: Oral Re-assessment, capped at grade 7


Module teaching staff: Dr F Koenig

Additional information from school

Please see also the information in the School¿s Handbook for Honours modules available via This link also gives access to timetables for the modules.