UW Physics


Physics 325

Wave motion and optics

spring semester 2017

MWF 2:25 - 3:15 pm in 2425 Sterling,

Final Exam Sunday May 7, 10:05am - 12:05 pm in 2104 Chamberlin

Office hours: T,W,Th 9-10 in 5330 Chamberlin.

Or by appointment (send an email), or just stop by. 

Mark Saffman
Department of Physics
office: 5330 Chamberlin
tlf: 265 5601
email: msaffman@wisc.edu
web: hexagon.physics.wisc.edu

This course will give an intermediate level treatment of waves and wave motion, primarily electromagnetic and optical waves. Techniques for producing, modifying and measuring optical waves as well as applications to imaging, sensing, and communications will be discussed.

Catalog course description: Wave phenomena with specific applications to waves in media and electromagnetic phenomena. Wave equations, propagation, radiation, coherence, interference, diffraction, scattering. Light and its interactions with matter, geometrical and physical optics. Experiments for this course are covered in Physics 308.

Prerequisites Physics 205, 241, or 244, and Physics 311. Physics 322 or concurrent enrollment recommended.

The course textbook is J. Peatross and M. Ware Physics of light and optics. Available as a free download from optics.byu.edu/textbook.aspx

It can be purchased in a printed bound form from http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/physics-of-light-and-optics/14241717.

Optics books and physics library course reserves

The textbook will be supplemented by material from Optics for Physicists (O.f.P.) which will be provided as a download from this webpage.

O.f.P. - Optics for Physicists (updated 2017.04.24) (material on temporal and spatial coherence added at the end of Ch. 2, corrected p. 143 concerning resonator resonance frequencies)


Syllabus (updated 2017.04.26)

week lecture   date topic

reading in P&W

reading in O.f.P. HW out HW due
1 1 introduction W Jan 18 Introduction, Optics Waves & photons, periodic waves Ch. 0,1,2,3 skip 0.4, 2.3, 2.4 Ch. 1    
  2 F Jan 20 wave equation, Poynting vector, energy and momentum transport, start refractive index     1  
2 3 M Jan 23 negative refractive index, polarization, polarizers, waveplates, angular momentum, start Fresnel coefficients Ch. 6      
  4 W Jan 25 beamsplitter, Brewster's angle, start total internal reflection        
  5 F Jan 27 total internal reflection, tunneling, optical components, Dove prism Ch. 4 Ch. 2 2 1
3 6 M Jan 30 interference of plane and spherical waves, visibility, interferometers        

7 FP resolution

W Feb 1 Fabry-Perot interferometer, Finesse, resolution, a little on LIGO        
  8 Sagnac F Feb 3 Etalon, Sagnac interferometer, practice problems, math quiz     3 2
4 9 M Feb 6 Fourier analysis math, broadband fields, FT Spectrometer Ch. 0.4 Ch.13    
  10 W Feb 8 antireflection and high reflection coatings, multilayer coatings        
  11 F Feb 10 Ray propagation, ray matrices, imaging, concave mirror Ch. 9 Ch. 3 4 3
5 12 M Feb 13 compound lens, principal planes, brightness        
  13 W Feb 15 aberrations, imaging instruments: the eye, microscope        
  14 F Feb 17 telescope, solid angle, eikonal equation Ch. 10 Ch. 4 5 4
6 15 M Feb 20 Fourier optics, Fresnel diffraction,transfer function        
  16 W Feb 22 Fresnel impulse response, Fraunhofer diffraction, start rectangular aperture        
  17 F Feb 24 Rectangular aperture, Cornu spiral, compare Fresnel & Fraunhofer, Rayleigh-Sommerfeld theory Ch. 11     5
7 18 M Feb 27 lens and Fourier transform, Hankel transform, diffraction in ABCD system, Airy disk        
  19 W Mar 1 midterm review        
    F Mar 3 In class midterm I     6  
8 20 M Mar 6 spot of Arago, Fresnel zones, zone plate, Talbot effect   Ch. 5    
  21 W Mar 8 Fourier tansform of a repeated object, Fourier optical processing with 4f configuration        
  22 Diffraction gratings F Mar 10 solve midterm, Diffraction grating resolving power     7  
9 23 M Mar 13 Blazed grating, Spectrometer. Gaussian beam fundamental solution.   Ch. 6   6
  24 W Mar 15 Review hw6 solutions, Gaussian beams: H-G, L-G modes Ch. 8      
  25 F Mar 17 Gaussian beam lens transformation, imaging. Gaussian beam at aperture and focusing, zoom lens.       7

............................................................................... Spring Break March 20-24 .................................................................................................................

10 26 M Mar 27 optical resonators, stability conditions Ch. 13 Ch. 7 8  
  27 W Mar 29 optical resonator resonance frequencies for higher order modes, ring resonators, optical coherence - time domain        
  28 F Mar 31 optical coherence - spatial domain, Michelson stellar interferometer     9 8
11 29 Blackbody radiation M Apr 3 Sources of radiation, thermal blackbody radiation        
  30 W Apr 5 Equilibrium of radiation and matter, Einstein A,B coefficients, absorption area law        
  31 F Apr 7 Absorption lineshape for narrowband radiation, saturation Ch. 12     9
12 32 M Apr 10 review for midterm II Ch. 7 Ch. 9, 10    
    W Apr 12 In class midterm II        
  33 F Apr 14 midterm solutions, scattering rate, refractive index     10  
13 34 M Apr 17 fields from moving charges, refractive index of bound electrons        
  35 W Apr 19 refractive index of plate, light scattering from spheres, intensity dependent refractive index        
  36 F Apr 21 nonlinear wave equation, quadratic nonlinearity, second harmonic generation, conversion efficiency     11 10
14 37 M Apr 24 Boyd-Kleinman theory, quasi phase matching, introduction to fiber optics   Ch. 11    
  38 Fiber optics W Apr 26 modes in 1D slab waveguide, mirror boundary conditions, 1D and 2D dielectric waveguides        
  39 F Apr 28 fiber link design, signals and noise, photodetection, direct and heterodyne,   Ch. 12 12 11
15 40 M May 1 topics for final, light modulation, piezo, AOM        
  41 W May 3 AOM time bandwidth product, EOM        
  42 F May 5 finish EOM, PDH locking       12
    S May 7 Final Exam Sunday May 7, 10:05am - 12:05 pm in 2104 Chamberlin        

Grading: HW 50%, midterms 25%, final 25%

Notes on various topics:

Physical constants (updated 2015.09.03) if you want all the details here are the CODATA 2010 recommended values

Conversion between Gaussian and SI units (updated 2009.01.20)

Mathematical formulae (updated 2015.11.09)

Fourier analysis

Ray matrices

Some interesting papers related to the course:

Mendelson Story of c 2006

Taylor feeble interference 1909

Michelson stellar interferometer 1921


Homework will count for approximately 50% of your grade. You are encouraged to work with others on solving the HW problems but you must turn in your own work - not a copy of work done by others. It is encouraged to use software such as Mathematica or Matlab for the homework. It is perfectly acceptable to turn in your homework solutions in the form of a Mathematica notebook. Homework is due printed on paper at the beginning of class on the assigned date. Late homework will only be accepted if you have received prior permission to turn it in late.

Most homework problems are worth 3 points which will be awarded as follows:

3 - Correct solution or minor errors.

2 - Substantial effort but missing some important parts of the solution.

1 - Limited effort, far from correct.

0 - No effort, or insignificant attempt.

Assignments and solutions will be provided via email.

Links to useful information:

Optics on the web:

Daniel Steck optics notes

Optical Society of America

European Optical Society


Other resources:

Math World

Wolfram function site

Digital library of mathematical functions

Abramowitz & Stegun Handbook of Mathematical Functions

Integrals on the web

Matrix solver for linear equations on the web

Clebsch-Gordan calculator

6j symbol calculator

Periodic table

NIST Physical reference data

Wikipedia - optics

Physics World