Michel Fich, Ph. D.

Course outline

  1. Mathematical review
    • Trigonometry and geometry
    • Vectors
    • Matrices
    • Complex numbers
    • Calculus
    • Coordinate systems
  2. Introduction to waves (In the first lecture following mathematical review)
    • 1D wave equation
    • Transverse & Longitudinal waves
    • Simple harmonic oscillator (SHO) and sinusoidal waves
    • Mechanical waves (including accoustic waves, transverse waves on a string)
    • Harmonics
    • superposition (using algebraic, complex and phasor representations)
    • 2D waves
    • Huygen’s principal
    • 3D waves (Plane, spherical and cylindrical)
    • Waveform synthesis by superposition of sinusoidal components
    • Demonstrations (DEMOS): SHO, dependence of wave velocity on tension/density of medium
  3. Wave & Particle duality (Light as a wave and as photons)
    • Quantum nature of light
    • Summary of wave theory (Electromagnetic theory, Electromagnetic waves, poynting vector, radiation mechanisms)
    • Light & Matter interaction (Index of refraction, scattering, absorption, and dispersion)
    • The electromagnetic spectrum (Wavelengths and colours)
    • DEMO: Spectral division of white light
  4. Reflection
    • Plane and spherical mirrors (including sign conventions)
    • Focal point and lengths
    • Rotating mirror (relevance to micro-opto-electro-mechanical systems)
    • DEMOS: Plane mirror, corner cube, and focal point of a spherical mirror
  5. Refraction
    • Snell's law
    • Fermat’s principal
    • Critical angle
    • Apparent depth
    • Prisms (small angle, general and compound, relevance to rainbows, atmospheric refraction and mirage)
    • DEMOS: Critical angle, a variety of prisms, and image bending in liquids
  6. Simple optical systems
    • Refraction through a spherical surface
    • the thin lens
    • Ray tracing
    • Matrix optics
    • Fibre optics
    • DEMOS: a variety of lenses, and combining optical elements
  7. Wavefront splitting interference
    • Path difference & Phase difference
    • Young’s 2 slit experiment
    • Multiple slit interference
    • DEMOS: Interference of 2 lasers at various slit combinations
  8. Amplitude splitting interference
    • Introduction to thin film theory
    • Multiple reflection
    • Reflection & Transmission (Fresnel) coefficients
    • Optical wedges
    • Newton’s rings
    • The Michelson interferometer (perpendicular case only).
    • DEMOS: Wedges in air and water, Newton’s rings, and interference of an oil film on water
  9. Diffraction
    • Fraunhoffer diffraction (1D)
    • Diffraction at one, two and many slits
    • DEMOS: Interference of 2 lasers (of different colour) at various slit combination