Optics and Photonics

10 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1FA589

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Physics A1F
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 30 August 2018
Responsible department
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

120 credits and Electromagnetic Field Theory.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • describe and illustrate with examples the concept of coherence, estimate the coherence of light sources;
  • explain properties of Gaussian beams, calculate propagation of Gaussian beams in free-space and through thin lenses;
  • calculate diffraction for simple physical systems, interpret limitations of Fresnel and Frauenhofer diffraction;
  • explain and illustrate light guiding, calculate wave propagation in waveguide systems;
  • explain the principles of operation of quantum lasers, calculate characteristics of optical resonators;
  • estimate output characteristics of photon sources;
  • demonstrate problem solving ability both orally and in written;
  • conduct an independent study within the field of photonics and make a presentation of the results.


Light as waves, rays and photons. Interference and Coherence. Diffraction of light. Wave optics and Gaussian beams. Transmission through optical components. Holography. Near field imaging. Guided-wave optics. Photonic crystals. Fiber optics. Electromagnetic optics. EM waves in metallic and dielectric media. Absorption and dispersion. Optics of magnetic materials. Metamaterials and Plasmonics. Superlens. Invisibility. Interactions of photons with matter. Quantum laser amplifiers. Quantum lasers. Radiation by charged particles. Semiconductor photon sources and photon detectors.


Lectures, demonstration of computer simulations and experimental results, seminars, projects. Problem solving individually and in mini-groups.


Hand-in assignments and problem solving at seminars (7 credits), written report and oral presentation of individual projects or a seminar on photonics (3 credits).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.