PHYC40210 Applied Optics

Academic Year 2023/2024

The purpose of this module is to give students a working knowledge of some optical phenomena related to and made possible by non-linear optical effects in materials and laser radiation.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion the student should have a comprehensive knowledge of non-linear optics, the techniques used for the generation, high speed switching and detection of optical pulses, optical communications systems and optically based sensor systems, in short, be familiar with different elements of optical technology in widespread use. As the course has a strong technical flavour, the student should be comfortable with optical system design as well as performing calculations to evaluate system characteristics.

Indicative Module Content:

Polarisation and birefringence, index ellipsoid. Second harmonic generation and higher order processes. Three wave mixing, sum and difference properties. Optical parametric oscillation and amplification. Phase conjugation. High harmonic generation, attosecond pulses. Modulators: acousto-optic, electro-optic and magneto-optic. Liquid crystal displays and modulators. Detectors of optical radiation. Optical fibres, slab waveguide. Mode propagation in both step and graded index fibres. V and b number, attenuation and dispersion. Communications systems. Optical fibre sensors. Photonic crystals.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Students are expected to attend lectures and tutorials and to prepare for both by appropriate study (this will include using books and online VLE and other resources). Thus the student should be able to engage fully in discussions and other interactions in lectures and tutorials. Students are further expected to prepare for homework assignments and end of module examinations via study and, as needed, discussion with the lecturer. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Core Stage 3 Physics.

Learning Recommendations:

PHYC 30070, PHYC 30080.
The recommended modules are not essential for students with a basic knowledge of lasers, Maxwell's equations and the electromagnetic theory of light.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Continuous Assessment: Homework - 3 sets over the trimester Varies over the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: Written exam at end of semester 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

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