EE 231 Optics, Fall



Prof. Andrea Fratalocchi

Update Syllabi here.


Class Notes

Last Update Topics Notes and References
28-Aug-2016 Maxwell’s equations in isotropic media. Poynting theorem. Definition and physical meaning of the Poynting vector and the energy density of the electromagnetic wave. Complex formalism. Time average of products of sinusoidal functions. Definition of optical intensity. Plane wave solutions of Maxwell’s equations.

lesson 1

28-Aug-2016 The scalar theory of diffraction. Sommerfield definition of diffraction. Discussion and theoretical justification of the scalar approximation. Helmholtz equation for the disturbance field. Intensity observable in the scalar approximation. Classical approach to the diffraction problem: definition of propagation and interaction problems.

lesson 2

29-Aug-2016 A first example of propagation problem: interference of two non collinear plane waves. Analysis of intensity distribution. Definition of interference fringes and discussion on possible applications. Spherical waves.

lesson 3

4-Sep-2016 Brief introduction to coherence and interference effects in coherent fields. Discussion of applications of Newtons rings. Interference between spherical waves and plane waves. lesson 4
11-Sep -2016 Bessel beam solution of the Helmholtz equations. Field distribution and dispersionless propagation. Discussion and experimental generation of Bessel beams.

lesson 5

22-oct-2016 Experimental generation of Bessel beam; discussion on possible applications of Bessel beams; Elements of linear system theory and Fourier analysis. Exercises set before the midterm evaluation.

lesson 6

24-Oct-2016 The propagation problem. General solution through Fourier modal decomposition. Plane-wave propagator. Linear system representation. Evanescent waves and their physical implications.

lesson 7

27-Oct-2016 First formula of Rayleigh-Sommerfield. Huygens principle. Fresnel diffraction integral. Far-Field diffraction formula. Optical resolution limits from wave propagation. Exercise set on far-field diffraction from slit and simple optical apertures.

lesson 8

3-Nov-2016 Modeling of laser light beams. General considerations on laser light properties. Derivation of Paraxial wave equation.

lesson 9

9-nov-2016 Spherical waves and Gaussian beam solutions of the paraxial wave equation. Curvature, waist and general properties of Gaussian beams.

lesson 10

15-nov-2016 Direct and Inverse problem of Gaussian beams. Physical explanation of the diffraction of Gaussian beam in terms of dispersion relation. ABCD Law of Gaussian beams. Free space propagation ABCD matrix. The interaction problem: general approach through the transfer function. Exact solution of the interaction with a semi-infinite metallic plane; comparison with the transfer function method; discussion. .

lesson 11

17-nov-2016  The thin lens. Transfer function of the thin lens. Application of the thin lens to visualize the far fieldPart II) Action of a thin lens on a Gaussian Beam. Collimation and Focusing problem. Beam Expander. ABCD matrix of a thin lens.  lesson 12
21-nov-2016 Hands on real cases: experiments on diffraction theory.

lesson 13

24-Nov-2016 Gratings. General properties and different examples of applications

lesson 14

Not covered this year Analysis of dispersion relation of symmetric waveguide. TE and TM modes. Number of modes for a given geometry. Asymetric waveguides: study of the general case. Modal profile of guided modes.

lesson 14

Yariv: Chapter 3

Not covered this year The Fabry-Perot interferometer. Reflection and Transmission from multiple rays. Airy’s Formulae. Finesse. Interferometer resolving power.

lesson 15

Wolf: Chapter 7

Not covered this year Optical cavities. ABCD transfer matrix approach. Stability analysis. Gaussian mode solution of cavities made by spherical mirrors. Phase and amplitude self-consistent equations.

lesson 16

lesson 17

Verdeyen: Chapters 2,5


Lab Lessons

Imaging Introduction to geometrical optics and the concept of rays. The propagation of rays. ABCD matrices. Introduction to lenses. Lens aberrations. Optical microscopes, fundamentals and principles of operations. Diffraction limited optical resolution according to the Rayleigh criterion. Microscopy techniques: dark-field, phase contrast and fluorescence imaging. Microscope_Theory


Final Results (9-Dec-2015)

All oral exams will be done in my office, Bld 1, level 3, room 3222 (all the way to desert side). The oral is a closed book exam.

ID                                    GRADE

142803                                60/60 (A)     Midterm Grade: A, Final Grade A

144204                                48/60 (A-)    Midterm Grade: A-, Final Grade A-

136603                                28/60 (B-)    Midterm Grade: A-, Average Grade B+ (Oral on 10-Dec-2015 at 330pm on scalar diffraction theory and waveguides)

133734                                33/60 (B+)    Midterm Grade: B, Average Grade B+ (Oral on 10-Dec-2015 at 5pm on imaging and gaussian beams)

142784                                40/60 (B+)    Midterm Grade: B+, Average Grade B+ (Oral on 10-Dec-2015 at 245pm on imaging and gaussian beams)

142768                                60/60 (A)    Midterm Grade: B+, Final Grade A-

132578                                42/60 (B+)    Midterm Grade: B, Average Grade B+ (Oral on 10-Dec-2015 at 545pm on scalar diffraction theory and waveguides)

132590                                46/60 (A-)    Midterm Grade: B, Average Grade B+ (Oral on 10-Dec-2015 at 415pm on waveguides and scalar theory of diffractions)

142754                                35/60 (B)    Midterm Grade: B-, Average Grade B (Oral on 10-Dec-2015 at 2pm on imaging and gaussian beams)

133273                               12/60 (C)    Midterm Grade: C, Final Grade C

132620                                8/60 (C-)    Midterm Grade: C-, Final Grade C-

133903                                24/60 (C+)    Midterm Grade: D, Final Grade C

FAQ (from 2011/2013 Kaust students)

I did not have any background in Electrodynamics, will I be able to follow the class?

It is strongly suggested that students have a minimum knowledge of Maxwell’s equations. Nevertheless, the course is self-consistent and highly motivated and brilliant students can follow it. If a student is in doubt please come to my office and we will discuss about it.

I do not plan to follow Optics, can I register to EE 233 Photonics?

No, without exception. Optics is a prerequisite for Photonics

I plan to audit Optics, can I register to EE 233 Photonics?

No, without exception. Students enrolled in Photonics need to have passed Optics.

I think I have a good knowledge of Optics, I therefore do not plan to register to the Optics class, can I register to EE 233 Photonics?

I strongly suggest to wait and complete the Optics module. However, in special circumstances I can give a written exam to the student to verify his/her preparation and if he/she passes it, he/she can register.

The notes only summarize the lesson and the text between equations is not a 1:1 copy of what you say, how can I study?

If a single book that is a 1:1 copy of each lesson exists, my presence would not be necessary. In the adult-learning teaching scheme, students are required to take notes lesson by lesson to integrate the (large) amount of material given, and use them to prepare for the final exam. By studying day-by-day, students can easily get answers to their questions and reach end  without any gap in their preparation.

The semester is ended and I have many questions related to Optics, can we fix an appointment and discuss about them?

Yes of course, however in this period I focus more on research with my group and my availability is lower than during the course.

I did not follow the course, but I want to prepare alone and I have a few questions. Can we discuss about them?

Yes of course but see the previous FAQ.

This course seems to require a lot, why should I do it?

In this course students are exposed to different concepts that are rather general and can teach them how a successful engineer/scientist think. Students can challenge themselves and explore different ideas during the course, whose development methodology will be important  when working in both academia and corporate environments. This can help them in moving towards a successful career. A few Alumni:

Matteo Crosta: 4 theoretical Articles published during the MS Thesis in Physical Review/Optics Letter/New Journal of Physics

Changxu Liu (PhD at KAUST): First Author of a Nature Photonics in 2013

Yasser Khan (got an offer in UC Berkley): Co-Author of a Nature Photonics in 2013

Danilo Brambila (got an offer from Max-Borne Institute in Germany): First-author of a Nature Scientific Reports paper in 2013, which summarizes his MS Thesis

E. Morales (got an offer from EPFL, Switzerland): Co-Author of a paper being submitted to Nature that summarizes his MS thesis. Lambert Publishing offered to publish his thesis as a Book.

L. D. Toth (got an offer form EPFL Switzerland): First Author of a paper being submitted to Nature that summarizes his thesis work. Presented his work at CLEO EU, the most prestigious conference in Photonics. IOP Publishing offered to publish his MS Thesis as a Book.

A. Marruzzo (got an offer from Cambridge University): 3 articles published during her dissertation. First author of a Nature Scientific Reports in 2012 that summarizes her MS thesis

J. Totero (PhD at KAUST): filed a patent, got an invited article, and invited Book chapter in his first year and now preparing two articles to be submitted to Nature.