Classical and Modern Optics



Posted here are my notes for a course in optics at the advanced undergraduate level. Caveat emptor: I believe these notes to be of high quality, but they are not “mature” yet in the sense that there may still be many typos in the manuscript. I will put corrections in as I find them, and you can always contact me if you have corrections or comments. Recent changes are posted here.




You can download the notes here as one big file: (pdf, 28MB). This is a pdf file that includes some animations in the document; these only play correctly with Acrobat Reader (OS X's Preview.app does not play them, for example). Instructors may contact me for a version with solutions to problems included.




If you use these notes for your class, please let me know!




Topics Covered:

  1. Linear Algebra (Review)
  2. Ray Optics: Fermat's Principle, Paraxial and Matrix Optics, Resonator Stability
  3. Fourier Analysis: Fourier Series, Fourier Transforms, Applications in Optics, Delta Function
  4. Electromagnetic Theory: Maxwell Equations in Vacuum and Dielectrics, Intensity, Monochromatic Waves, Complex Notation, Plane Waves, Wave Impedance
  5. Interference: Superpostion of Waves, Interferometers, Stokes Relations
  6. Gaussian Beams: Paraxial Wave Equation, Gaussian Beam Solution, ABCD Law, Hermite-Gaussian Beams
  7. Fabry-Perot Cavities: Planar Cavities, Damping, Finesse, Spherical-Mirror Cavities
  8. Polarization: Polarization Ellipse, Jones Formalism, Coordinate Transformations, Normal Modes, Polarization Materials
  9. Fresnel Relations: Waves at a Dielectric Interface, Internal Reflections, Waves at a Dielectric-Conductor Interface, Propagation in a Conducting Medium
  10. Thin Films: Reflection-Summation Model, Matrix Formalism, Optical Coating Design
  11. Fourier Analysis II: Convolution, Error Analysis, Central Limit Theorem, Random Walk, Green's Functions, Spectral Transmission
  12. Fourier Optics: Wave Propagation, Fraunhofer Diffraction, Fresnel Diffraction, Spatial Filtering, Holography
  13. Acousto-Optic Diffraction: Raman-Nath Diffraction, Bragg Diffraction
  14. Coherence: Wiener-Khinchin Theorem, Optical Wiener-Khinchin Theorem, FTIR Spectroscopy, Visibility, Coherence Time
  15. Laser Physics: Pumps, Gain Media, Simple Laser Models, Light-Atom Interactions, Einstein Rate Equations, Light Amplification, Pumping Schemes, Gain Coefficient, CW Output, Pulsed Output, Laser Spiking, Q-Switching, Cavity Dumping, Mode Locking
  16. Dispersion and Wave Propagation: Kramers-Kronig Relations, Group Velocity, Pulse Spreading, Slow and Fast Light
  17. Classical Light-Atom Interactions: Polarizability, Plasma Model, Lorentz Model, Oscillator Strength, Drude Model, Atom Optics, Dipole Force, Radiation Pressure, Laser Cooling