DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS
(required for all Physics majors, except those in the Biomedical Option) Undergraduate
Dispersion, reflection and refraction, interference, diffraction, coherence, geometrical optics, interaction of light with matter.
3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.
Prereq.: Physics 35400, or similar engineering courses; pre- or coreq.: Math 39200
Textbook and other suggested material:
Hecht, Optics (4th ed. or latest) (required) ISBN 0-8053-8566-5, Addison Wesley
After successfully completing this course, students should be able to:
1. solve problems involving the propagation of light including reflection, refraction, scattering, optical properties of materials, and the Stokes parameters;
2. solve problems involving polarization including polarizers, dichroism, birefringeance, retarders and optical modulators;
3. solve problems involving interfereometers and single or multilayer films;
4. solve problems involving Frauenhofer and Fresnel diffraction and Kirchoff’s scalar diffraction theory;
5. understand the basics of Fourier optics;
6. understand the basics of coherence theory;
7. understand the operation of lasers and their application to imagery, holography and nonlinear optics.
Topic 1: Vector analysis
Overview of optics
Topic 2: Electromagnetic waves and pulses
Spectrum – color – x-ray to THz
E & M pulse shapes and relationships
Key equations in optics
Wave equations, paraxial approximation
Spectral width and pulse duration relation for
different pulse shapes:
Rect. Gaussian, exp.
Dispersion curves ω(k) and n (λ)
Group and phase velocity
Topic 3: Poynting vector, S
E, B, k, S relationship
Algebra and matrix forms of polarized E & M waves
Jones matrix for optical elements and beams
Optical vortex beam
Topic 4: Reflection from dielectric for polarized beam
Fresnel equations amplitude and phase
Phase and amplitude vs. angle of incidence
Etalons, time delay
Topic 5: Coherence (space and temporal)
Topic 6: Interference
Topic 7: Diffraction
Topic 8: Crystal optics (e and 0 waves)
3 HR./WK.; 3 CR.
Relationship of course to program outcomes:
The outcomes of this course contribute to the following departmental learning outcomes:
a. students will be able to synthesize and apply their knowledge of physics and mathematics to solve physics-related problems in a broad range of fields in classical and modern physics, including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics and statistical physics, optics, quantum mechanics, and experimental physics.
c. students will be able to communicate their knowledge effectively and in a professional manner, in both oral and written forms.
1. Homework assignments
2. Results of Midterm Exam
3. Results of TestLab reports (if applicable)
4. Results of Final Exam
Person who prepared this description and date of preparation:
R Alfano email@example.com
email address firstname.lastname@example.org
date Dec. 17, 2009
Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
The CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity can be found at
This policy defines cheating as “the unauthorized use or attempted use of material, information, notes, study aids, devices or communication during an academic exercise.” The CUNY Policy on plagiarism says the following about plagiarism (the CUNY Policy can be found in Appendix B.3 of the CCNY Undergraduate Bulletin 2007 -2009 as well as the web site listed above):
Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writings as your own. The following are some examples of plagiarism, but by no means is it an exhaustive list:
1. Copying another person’s actual words without the use of quotation marks and footnotes attributing the words to their source.
2. Presenting another person’s ideas or theories in your own words without acknowledging the source.
3. Using information that is not common knowledge without acknowledging the source.
4. Failing to acknowledge collaborators on homework and laboratory assignments.
5. Internet plagiarism includes submitting downloaded term papers or parts of term papers, paraphrasing or copying information from the internet without citing the source, and “cutting and pasting” from various sources without proper attribution.
The City College Faculty Senate has approved a procedure for addressing violations of academic integrity, which can also be found in Appendix B.3 of the CCNY Undergraduate Bulletin.”