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OSE3052 - Foundations of Photonics

Introduction to light as rays, waves, and photons. Optical fibers. Interference and diffraction. Polarization. Image formation. LEDs and Lasers. Detectors. Optical systems (cameras, scanners, sensors)

Credits: 3 hours

Prerequisites: MAP 2302 Differential Equations, acceptance to PSE Major

Detailed course description:

Introduction: Some of the main growth areas in the “high-tech” sectors are centered on the branch of optics known as “Photonics”, examples are; displays, data storage, telecommunication systems. This is not a temporary phenomenon. Continued growth of optics and photonics based industries means that there will be a growing and permanent need for engineers and scientists with some training in optics. Other areas of optics, such as bio-photonics, laser machining, laser marking, infrared imaging, etc. are growing strongly also. These topics are covered in the other courses in the Photonic Science and Engineering degree program. This course provides students with the strong foundation in optics that will be needed for the subsequent courses. We will frequently make reference to applications as we go.

Content: This course introduces the basic descriptions of light as waves (physical optics), and photons. Interference of optical waves is described along with interferometers and their applications to optical metrology and sensing. Fourier series for the analysis of waves. Diffraction of optical waves propagating through apertures is examined and the effects on the resolution of imaging systems and the spreading and focusing of optical beams are covered. Diffraction gratings and grating spectrometers. Introduction to Fourier analysis for treating diffraction. Brief introduction to polarization and polarization devices. Regarding light as photons, a brief introduction to absorption, emission, and luminescence phenomena is followed by a brief description of photonic devices such as light emitting diodes, lasers and optical detectors. The more advanced electromagnetic properties of light are mostly postponed to the next course in the sequence: OSE 3053 Electromagnetic Waves for Photonics.

Learning outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students should understand the basic principles of modern physical optics and photonics. They should be able to read the specifications of commercial optical instruments such as a scanner for a laser printer, or a spectrometer, and determine how these specifications impact the intended application. They should also be able to solve analysis and design problems for basic optical systems such as the following examples:

  • Determine the changes in the Young’s double-slit interference pattern that result from bringing the slits closer by some factor.
  • Determine the changes in the Michelson interferogram that result from moving one of the mirrors or inserting a thin glass slab in one of the arms.

Topics: (A detailed schedule with dates follows at the end of this document.)

  1. Wave Motion / Fourier Series

  2. Photons and Light

  3. The Superposition of Waves

  4. Polarization

  5. Interference

  6. Diffraction / Fourier Analysis

  7. Lasers and LEDs

  8. Photodetectors

Optics, 5th ed., Eugene Hecht, Pearson, 2016.

Recommended Reference:

Introduction to Optics, 3rd ed., F. L. Pedrotti, L.S. Pedrotti and L. M. Pedrotti, Prentice-Hall, 2009
Schaum’s Outline of Theory and Problems of Optics, Eugene Hecht, McGraw Hill, 1975.
Fundamentals of Photonics, 2nd edition B. Saleh and M. Teich, Wiley, 2007