Sciences and Mathematics


Physics 509

Background and theory necessary to understand modern optical devices, instruments, techniques and phenomena. The course begins with a study of the mathematics of waves and important aspects of Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory. The course uses geometrical optics to understand thin and thick lenses and systems of lenses such as telescopes and microscopes. The wave theory of light is used to study polarization, interference and diffraction. Various types of interferometers are examined, as well as diffraction of multiple slits and gratings.