Principles of Optics
SCQF Level 10
Academic year(s): 2019-2020
SCOTCAT credits : 15
ECTS credits : 7
Level : SCQF Level 10
Availability restrictions: Not automatically available to General Degree students
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.
Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass PH3081 or pass PH3082 or ( pass MT2506 and pass MT2507 )
Weekly contact: 3 lectures or tutorials.
Scheduled learning hours: 32
Guided independent study hours: 118
As used by St Andrews: 2-hour Written Examination = 75%, Coursework = 25%
As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 75%
Practical examinations : 0%
Re-assessment: Oral Re-assessment, capped at grade 7
Module coordinator: Dr F E W Koenig
Module teaching staff: Dr F Koenig
The course will cover fundamental aspects of modern laboratory optics. It will
By the end of the module, the students will have a comprehensive knowledge of the topics covered in the lectures and will be able to:
Review of Maxwell's equations, linear wave equation, plane waves, Poynting-vector. Physical origin of refractive index, dispersion model, Sellmeier equation. Polarisation: linear, circular, elliptical polarisation, Jones vectors and Jones matrices. Production of polarised light by various techniques, wave plates. Light at interfaces: Boundary conditions, Snell's law, Fresnel equations, Energy conservation at interfaces, Brewster's angle, total internal reflection, phase changes. Multilayer films: Simple approach, vector calculus. Fabry-Perot interferometer. Finesse, resolving power, Michelson interferometer Coherence: spatial vs. temporal coherence, correlation coefficient, Wiener Khintchine Theorem, Van Zittert-Zernicke Theorem, Hanbury Brown Twiss experiment. Diffraction: Huygens principle, Kirchhoff theory, Fraunhofer and Fresnel reflection, Babinet's principle, calculation of diffraction patterns. Gaussian beams: Solution to wave equation, higher order and fundamental modes, qparameter, spot size and radius of curvature, ABCD matrices, focussing, collimating and resonators. Nonlinear optics: nonlinear polarisation, second-harmonic generation, phase matching.
Additional information on continuous assessment etc.
Please note that the definitive comments on continuous assessment will be communicated within the module. This section is intended to give an indication of the likely breakdown and timing of the continuous assessment.
Four tutorial sheets are set and expected to be answered by students during the semester. These tutorial sheets are to be submitted as fully written out solutions and are marked and returned. There are additionally four In-class tutorials in this module, which are not assessed and aim to solve problems on the day with support from the lecturer. 25% of the module mark comes from the assessed tutorial solutions
This module may not contain material that is part of the IOP “Core of Physics”, but does contribute to the wider and deeper learning expected in an accredited degree programme. The skills developed in this module, and others, contribute towards the requirements of the IOP “Graduate Skill Base”.
Please view University online record:
Please also read the general information in the School's honours handbook that is available via st-andrews.ac.uk/physics/staff_students/timetables.php.