Module Identifier PX32010  
Module Title OPTICS  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Geraint O Thomas  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Xing Li  
Pre-Requisite Core Physics Modules at Level 1  
Course delivery Lecture   20 lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   3 seminars/workshops/exercise classes; 2 tutorials  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours End of semester examinations  70%
Semester Assessment Course Work: Example Sheets Example Sheets 11,12,13,15,16 & 17 Deadlines are detailed in the Year 2 Example Sheet Schedule distributed by the Department30%

Learning outcomes

After taking this module students should be able to:

Brief description

The aim of the module is to provide students with a basic understanding of the fundamentals of optics. Part of the course is concerned with geometrical or ray optics, from the basic principles of reflection and refraction to the properties of lenses and simple optical instruments. Another section deals with physical or wave optics, concerning interference, Fraunhofer and Fresnel diffraction and leading on to polarisation and the optical properties of birefringent crystals. The course ends with an introduction to the modern topics of holography and non-linear optics.


Reflection and refraction, lenses, aberrations, optical instruments.
Wave properties of light.
Interference, two-beam interference, then film interference and its applications.
Michelson interferometer, multiple-beam interference, Fabry-Perot etalon.
Diffraction, Fraunhofer, single slit resolution, double slit, diffraction grating, introduction to Fresnel diffraction.
Polarisation, birefringence, uniaxial crystals.
Introduction to holography and non-linear optics.

Transferable skills

Video on Optical Interference

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Keller, Gettys and Skove Physics Classical and Modern
Jenkins and White Fundamentals of Optics ISBN 0-07-385346-0


This module is at CQFW Level 6