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Title: Introductory optics for photonics
Short Code: Intro-opt
ECTS Credits: 3
Organizer Details: Collaboration between UAS that offer Photonics

1) Exam during semester
2) Short report on a topic of choice from optics and photonics. A list of topics will be distributed at the beginning of the course. Own topics are also possible. Due at the end of the 3rd semester week.

Decision Date: 1 August 2022 
Start Date: 11 August 2022 
End Date: 17 August 2022 
Date Details:

  • Thursday / Friday, August 11 / 12 : Geometrical optics (ray optics) 
  • Monday / Tuesday, August 15/ 16 : Wave optics
  • Wednesday , August 17 :Interaction of light with matter


35%: Lectures

  • Thursday / Friday, August 11 / 12 : online course (MS Teams) or hybrid (will be announced one month ahead) 
  • Monday / Tuesday, August 15 /16 : online or hybrid (will be announced 1 month ahead)
  • Wednesday, August 17: online 


  • Test will take place during the semester. The date is to be announced.

30%: Short report on a mini-project

  • Short report due 10 weeks after start of semester



Description (max. 300 characters):

This EVA is an intensive 1 week introduction into the fundamentals of optics as they are required in photonics.
It will level out the different levels of comptence in optics brought by the students from their respective engineering courses of studies. 
The course addresses the students beginning their studies in the Photonics profile.

Contents and Learning Objectives:

At the end of this intensive course the sudents will know the conceptual differences between the three different ways of seeing light: as a ray, as a wave or as quanta (photons).
The students will be able to decide which model is best suited for the applications of optics in photonics.

In particular they will be introduced into the following sub-fields of optics:

Part 1 - Geometrical optics

1.1)     Basics of geometrical optics (differentiation from wave optics, wave-particle dualism, refractive index, dispersion, Abbe-number, refraction, reflection)

1.2)     Optical imaging with lenses 

1.3)     Thin lenses / Thick lenses

1.4)    Apertures

1.5)     Mirrors

1.6)     Aberrations

1.7)     The human eye, magnifying lenses

1.8)    Basics of cameras

1.9)   Microscope, telescope, teleobjective, zoom-camera -> as exercises

Part 2 – Wave optics

2.1) Concept EM-wave

2.2) Maxwell equations and wave equation (incl. rot, div, grad)

2.3) Intensity & pointing vector

2.4) Polarisation concept (TE, TM, …)

2.5) Reflection and refraction at an interface – Fresnel equations

2.6) Interference and Fabry Perot interferometer

2.7) Diffraction:

    Frauenhofer diffraction slit/circular aperture

    Gratings (ref/transmission)

    Fresnel lens


Parts 3 / 4 – Light matter interaction: Photons and atoms

and short introduction to materials science

3.1) Photons and atoms

3.2) Interaction of light with bound electrons: mechanisms at the atomic level

3.3) Interaction of photons with systems of atoms (dielectric materials)

3.4) Interaction of light with free electrons

3.5) Interaction of light with metals

3.5 a) The Drude model 


Course materials will be distributed in digital or paper copies to the students.

Contact Person E-Mail:
Status: registration open
Specialization: Photonics (Pho)


[Responsible for this text: Romano Valerio]