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The subject will derive the fundamentals of modern optics and apply them to optical systems. We will begin with a matrix approach to geometric ray optics and progress to Gaussian beams with particular emphasis on laser beams and optical resonators. We will review the polarization of light using Jones matrices and Mueller calculus. Interference concepts will be developed and applied to interferometers, thin films and Fabry-Perot cavities. These concepts will be used to explain lasers, from Einstein concepts and population inversion to laser gain and longitudinal mode structure, for three-level and four-level systems, and extended to cover laser dynamics, Q-switched and mode-locked systems, and femtosecond combs.
Fibre optics and applications will include microstructured fibres, coupling, dispersion, fibre amplifiers and lasers. Non-linear optics will be introduced, including coupled-wave theory, harmonic generation, parametric amplification, Pockel and Kerr effects, four-wave mixing and phase conjugation. We will also review Raman, Mie and Brillouin scattering.
Fresnel and Fraunhofer diffraction theory and the angular spectrum representation of wavefields will be reviewed with emphasis on optical imaging. We will also describe modern optical microscopy from phase imaging to optical coherence tomography and super-resolution methods including STEM, STED, SLIM and TIRF.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, a student should be able to:
- Predict the behaviour of optical instruments using geometric and wave approaches;
- Articulate the operational principles of lasers and the unique properties of laser light to apply their understanding of optics and quantum mechanics;
- Articulate the concepts and operating principles of super-resolution optical microscopes to use their understanding of fundamental optics;
- Solve and analyse relevant problems in modern optics to apply their qualitative and quantitative understanding .
- Analyze how to solve a problem by applying fundamental laws to more complicated situations;
- Apply abstract concepts to real world situations;
- Solve relatively complicated problems using approximations;
- Participate effectively in group discussions.
Last updated: 24 January 2023