PHYC/ECE 463: Advanced Optics I

Prof. F. Elohim Becerra
Office: P&A 19
Phone: 505 277-2673

Teaching Assistant
Xuefeng Li
Office: P&A 40

Description of the class

This course studies the fundamentals of optics and some applications, and covers diverse topics in geometrical and physical optics. The courses addresses the study of electromagnetic theory, fundamental properties of light, waves, Gaussian ray tracing and matrix methods, basic optical elements and devices, image formation, interference, diffraction and topics in modern/advanced optics.

Pre-requisites: E&M, Undergraduate Physics, Knowledge of Differential Equations, Linear & Complex Algebra, Matrix representations, Optics.


Monday and Wednesday, 2:00-3:15, P&A Room 184.


There are many useful texbooks that cover the topcis on the class.

The course will use the textbook by Frank L. Pedrotti, Leno M. Pedrotti, and Leno S. Pedrotti. It will cover topcis from some chapters within Ch1-23, and other additional topics.

Introduction to Optics(3rd Edition): Frank L. Pedrotti, Leno M. Pedrotti, and Leno S. Pedrotti.

Additional Resources
Optics, Light and Lasers: (2nd Edition) Dieter Meschede.
Fundamentals of Photonics , 2nd Edition: E. A. Saleh, Malvin Carl Teich.
Optics, 4th Edition: E. Hecht.
Laser Physics: Anthony E. Siegman
Quanutm Electronics: Amnon Yariv


Homework Assignments

There will be regular assignments of problem sets including problems from the textbook by E. Pedrotti and other exercises, about one set per week. 
The assignments will be given throughout the semester and will be posted in the Tentative Schedule about one week before they are due. Homeworks must be turned in to the TA's mailbox before 5:00 pm on the due date.

Office hours

Office hours: Monday 11 am -1 pm. You may also arrange a meeting for another time via email.
TA office hours: Friday 1-2 pm in the P&A lobby. You may also arrange a meeting for another time via email.


The final grade will be based on the homework assignments, one midterm exam and a final exam. The contribution to the final grade is as follows:

  1. Homework: 20%
  2. Report and presentation 20%
  3. Midterm exam: 25%
  4. Final: 35%

Exam Dates (subject to change): Midterm, October 14.

The Final Exam is comprehensive and is scheduled for Monday, December 11, 3:00-5:00 pm

Formal Reports: You will write a formal report from one topic suggested related to optics covering fundmanteal concepts and applications. You will write the lab report using latex, which is widely used in the scientific community in different areas including physics and engineering. It should follow the format of a scientific paper. Lab reports should be submitted as a word or PDF document by email with the subject “Lab Report". The file name should be your last name followed by the name of the experiment. Lab reports and presentations are individual.

Presentation:You will give a presentation at the end of the semester about the topic in your report (15 minutes+ 5 for questions). It should duscuss fundamentals and theoretical background, development in the field, and applications of the subject studied to science and/or technology. Some tipsmore tips.

Suggested topcis for the formal report and repsentations are here. You may choose another optic and you should discuss with the instructor about the suitability for an article and presentation

Syllabus Topics

Below is a tentative list of topics that will be covered. You can find the calendar for the course in the Tentative Schedule

  1. Introduction to optics
    - Overview; optics and fundamental of light; Fermat principle; reflection and refraction; ray and ekional equations.
  2. Geometrical optics
    Image formation and ray tracing; Paraxial optics and basic opical elements (lens, mirrors, etc.); Matrix methods in paraxial optics; Stops and apertures; Aberration theory
  3. Physical optics
    Maxwell Equations, E&M waves and Gaussian beams; Index of refraction, dispersion, and group and phase velocity; Radiometry and photometry; Fresnel equations of reflection and refraction though dielectric interface
  4. Interference
    Superposition of fields; Interference of multiple fields; Interference in multi-layer thin films (matrix formalism); Interferometers
  5. Diffraction theory
    Fraunhofer (far field) diffraction; Diffraction grating; Fresnel (near-field) diffraction; Fresnel plates
  6. Polarization
    Polarization of light; Jones matrix formalism; Polarizers and waveplates; Stokes vectors
  7. Modern and quantum optics
    If time allows, we will discuss some special topics such as Fundamentals; Field quantization andDirac notation; Quantum properties of states of light

Additional resources

Class overview: Lecture 1

Lasers: Anthony E. Siegman.
Laser Physics
: P. W. Milonni, J. H. Eberly.
Optics, Light and Lasers: (2nd Edition) Dieter Meschede.
Fundamentals of Photonics , 2nd Edition: E. A. Saleh, Malvin Carl Teich.
Optics, 4th Edition: E. Hecht.
Laser Electronics (3rd Edition) by Joseph T. Verdeyen.

Tentative Schedule

Topic Date Subject Reading Homework HW Due Solutions
Introduction to Optics 08/19 (M) Overview, Fermat's principle; Reflection and refraction        
Geometrical Optics 08/21 (W) Ray Equations, Image formation and Ray tracing CH2 (.0-3) HW1 (W) Aug 28 HW1sol
  08/26 (M) Paraxial optics, mirrors and lenses (.5-8)      
  08/28 (W) Matrix methods in paraxial optics CH18 HW2 (W) Sep 4 HW2sol
  09/02 (M) Labor day        
  09/04 (M) Paraxial ray equation; GRIN systems        
  09/06 (F) makeup classes: optical resonators CH3      
  09/09 (M) Apertures " HW3 (W) Sep 16 HW3sol
  09/11 (W) Prisms and optical systems "      
  09/16(M)   " HW4 (M) Sep 23 HW4sol
  09/18 (W) Prisms and optical systems "      
Physical Optics 09/23 (M) Wave optics CH4 HW5 (M) Sep 30 HW5sol
  09/25 (W) Field propagation in a dielectric medium CH25      
  09/30 (M) Fresnel Equations CH23,25 HW6 (M) Oct 7 HW6sol
  10/02 (W) " "      
  10/07 (M) Superpositions of fields CH5 HW7 (M) Oct 14 HW7sol
  10/09 (W) Interference CH7      
Formula Sheet MT1   Formula sheet Midterm 1 Formula Sheet MT1      
  10/21 (M) Interference and Fabry Perot CH8      
  10/30 (W) " CH8 HW8 (Th) Nov 07 HW8sol
  11/04 (M) Difraction CH11      
  11/6 (W) "   HW9 (W) Nov 13 HW9sol
  11/11 (M) Diffraction gratings CH12      
  11/13 (W)     HW10 (Th) Nov 21 HW10sol
  11/18 (M) Fresnel Difraction CH13      
  11/20 (W) "   HW11 (Th) Nov 28 HW11sol
  11/25 (M) Polarization: polarization states and Jones matrices CH14-15      
  11/27 (W) Stokes parameters and light modulation   HW12 (Th) Dec 05 HW12sol
  12/02 (M) Student Presentations        
  12/09 (M) Final 2pm Formula Sheet Final      

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