Optics and Photonics II module (PH52011)

Learn about recent optics and photonics developments, including lasers, nonlinear optics, optical imaging, optical microscopy, and fluorescence microscopy

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This module explores recent photonic innovations, as well as the physics underpinning them.

It covers five key areas, including lasers, nonlinear optics, optical imaging, optical microscopy, and fluorescence microscopy. It will build on your knowledge from Optics and Photonics I (PH41005).

Scotland has a thriving optics and photonics industry, and this module provides a solid basis to enter the photonics industry or do your own research as part of a PhD programme.

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • be introduced to topics related to lasers including pulse laser operation, ultrafast systems, semiconductor lasers, diode-pumped solid-state, and gas lasers
  • learn about nonlinear optics and the basics of nonlinear interactions and processes, including phase matching, second-order effects, and third-order effects
  • understand optical image formation theory, including coherent/incoherent imaging, diffraction, point-spread functions, optical-transfer functions, and resolution
  • be introduced to optical microscopy, including image modalities and the working principles of various absorption, phase, and polarisation contrast techniques
  • learn about fluorescence microscopy topics including principles of fluorescence, Total-Internal-Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF), light-sheet microscopy, digital image restoration, and the various super-resolution techniques

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • understand nonlinear optics and applications such as ultra-fast lasers
  • design an optical microscope
  • understand adaptive optics and super-resolution microscopes

Assignments / assessment

  • coursework (20%)
  • final exam (80%)

Teaching methods / timetable

You will learn by taking a hands-on approach. This will involve taking part in seminars, problem-solving workshops, and Physics Colloquia talks by invited speakers.

Learning material is provided through videos, review notes, examples, and tutorial questions.


This module is available on following courses: