Fundamentals of Optics for Electrical Engineers
Fall 2009
Technical Elective for ECE
Catalog Data: 

3 units.   Introduction to diffraction and 2D Fourier optics, geometrical optics, paraxial systems, third order aberrations, Gaussian beam propagation, optical resonators, polarization, temporal and spatial coherence, optical materials and nonlinear effects, electro-optic modulators. Applications to holography, optical data storage, optical processing, neural nets, associative memory optical interconnects.

Grades A B C D E

May be taught with ECE 559

ECE 381A

Optics - 4th Edition-Revised, by Eugene Hecht, Pearson-Benjamin Cummings Publishing, 2002

Course Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course, the student will understand:

  1. Waves and propagation: Definitions, variables, conventions, standing waves, traveling waves (longitudinal and transverse). Plane waves versus spherical waves.
  2. Maxwell’s equations, wave equation, Poynting vector and energy flow
  3. Polarization, dispersion, energy, momentum, dipoles, sources of polarization, propagation, equation of motion for bound electrons. Huygen’s principle, Snell’s law, reflection, transmission, refraction, Fresnel expressions, TIR, FTIR, Beer’s Law
  4. Geometrical Optics: diffraction limit, OPD, imaging, conjugates, ray tracing with thin lenses, compound lens ray tracing, aperture stops, field stops, pupils, marginal and chief ray, paraxial reduction, Lagrange invariant, matrix methods, thick lens treatment. Examples: telescopes, eyepieces, microscopes, etc.
  5. Aberration theory: chromatic versus monochromatic (geometry vs. image quality). Derivation of first and third-order monochromatic aberrations, Seidel coefficients.
  6. Superposition and coherence, polarization, polarizers, waveplates, birefringence, Jones matrices.
  7. Interference, fringes, visibility, interferometers-amplitude-splitting and wavefront-splitting (YDS, Michelson, TG, MZ, shear plate, …)
  8. Diffraction : Fresnel, Fraunhoffer, OPD, single slit and multiple slit, resolution, gratings (transmission and reflection). Applications (includes holography and spectroscopy)
  9. Fourrier Optics: transforms and elementary transform pairs, Fourrier transforms and Fraunhoffer diffraction, Linear shift invariant systems, convolutions.
Course Topics: 
  • Introduction to optics
  • Wave theory and propagation
  • Geometrical optics
  • Paraxial systems
  • Introduction to third-order aberrations
  • Polarization
  • Temporal and spatial coherence
  • Interference
  • Diffraction
Class/Laboratory Schedule: 

Three fifty minute sessions per week.
Two one-hour tests (closed book, closed notes)     
Comprehensive final examination (closed book, open notes)

Relationship to Student Outcomes: 

a)  an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering (High)
e)  an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems (High)
k)  an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary
     for engineering practice. (High)

Prepared by: 
Dr. Kelly Potter
Prepared Date: 

University of Arizona College of Engineering