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Lecturer: Dr Wayne Dickson 

Semester: 1

Credit level: 6

Credit value: 15


Physics (UBSH3CSPH)
MSci (Physics) (UMSH4CSPH)
Physics with a Year Abroad (UBSH4CSPD)
Physics with Medical Applications (UBSH3CMPHMA)
Physics with Astrophysics (UBSH3CMPHAS)
Physics with Theoretical Physics (UBSH3CMPHTP)
Mathematics and Physics (UBSH3CJMMPH)
MSci in Mathematics and Physics (UMSH4CJMMPH)

Learning aims & outcomes

The course introduces some of the governing principles used to model, understand and solve problems in optics. In this course students should gain a greater understanding of what is light and how it interacts with different media. We will cover wave motion, electromagnetic theory, the propagation of light, geometrical optics, superposition of waves, polarization, interference and diffraction, as well as nonlinear optics. Common applications, such as lasers, will be discussed throughout.


  • Wave-optical treatment of refraction, reflection, and interference 
  • Scalar wave approach to diffraction: the Fraunhofer and Fresnel approximations 
  • Application to apertures and gratings
  • The Fourier transforming properties of a lens 
  • Imaging with coherent and incoherent illumination
  • The concept of resolution and transfer functions
  • Nonlinear optics

Weekly teaching arrangements

3 hours of lectures



Summative assessment

Details of the module's summative assessment/s
 TypeWeighting Marking model
Written Exam (3 hours) May/June 100% Model 2. Double Marking

Formative assessment


e-Learning: 6CCP3380 on KEATS



02 April 2019


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