Optical Physics:


PHYS 307

Link to course schedule

Class discussion page: Piazza

Optical Physics:


Discussion: Room E105

Main Lab: Room WN007

Center for Natural Science

Gabe Spalding

Office: C006B



Course Description:

-Whereas Optics in PHYS 106 considered only a few "sample rays," more powerful treatments consider the superposition of "many paths", and you want that kind of power! Our primary text, entitled Optics f2f: from Fourier to Fresnel, notes that "the essential insight of Fresnel was that all light propagation is [an interference phenomenon]." Fresnel's methods involve summing curved wavefronts emanating from each source point (and Fraunhofer's methods are simpler cases of Fresnel's). On the other hand, Fourier Optics involves summing plane waves. For all forms of interference (and hence all optical phenomena), phase differences between the contributing waves play a defining role, and so phasor diagrams will be stressed throughout.

- This course emphasizes hands-on instructional laboratory engagement supported by classroom discussion of mathematical modeling and the useful range of validity of various approximations. Labs begin with qualitative observation of polarization, followed by reminders of single-slit diffraction and multi-beam interference that were encountered in earlier coursework - but now put to use to find the "filling fraction" of various Digital Optics devices. These examinations extend to inexpensive Digital Micromirror Devices (DMDs), to transmissive "Spatial Light Modulators" (SLMs) taken from classroom projectors, and (very quickly) onwards to (much more useful) reflective SLMs such as the LCoS chip shown above. Because these LCoS devices allow simple programmatic control of phase and/or amplitude (or polarization) within many local regions across the field of a beam of light, they serve as tools for direct exploration of the mathematical models contained in the text, while avoiding the excessive burdens associated with manual alignment and re-alignment (and re-alignment and...) that would be required for systematic studies based on traditional (fixed) optical components.

- Students engage in qualitative observation of aberrations, using hand-held lenses, then "walking a laser" through "cloned apertures" on an optical breadboard, use shear-plate interferometers to test collimation, and build "optical cloaking devices" as a means of teaching ABCD matrices. Again, SLMs allow direct control of amplitude and phase modulation of beams, which is useful for teaching Fresnel Diffraction, Fraunhofer Diffraction, and Fourier Optics, as well as spatial filtering, computer-generated Holograms, Aberration Correction, Laser Modes, and much, much more (e.g., encoding information, the linear momentum, spin angular momentum, and orbital angular momentum of light beams). As time and student interest allows, structured investigations should lead to exploratory conversations, and onwards to independent projects, such as the design and construction of holographic optical trapping systems, or open-source "DIY" advanced imaging systems for use in local research projects. Each station has a fiber-coupled photometer, a high-speed oscilloscope, a lock-in amplifier, and an RF supply for acousto-optic elements (for chopping or deflecting a beam), as well as stepper-motor-based motion control.

- Prerequisites: students are expected to have completed an university-level introductory sequence in physics (e.g., PHYS 101-102 or 105-106) providing a basic introduction to geometric ("ray") optics, as well as coursework in the "Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences" (e.g., PHYS 304, which uses the text by Mary Boas) providing facility with matrix multiplication, the mathematics of complex numbers, vector operators (divergence, gradient, curl, and all that), and some introduction to Fourier transforms.

This course complements "Scientific Imaging" (PHYS 308), as well as The Momentum of the Photon (PHYS 317), a new course that provides further introduction to single-photon quantum mechanics.

Reading material:

Perusing Sources that describe cutting-edge projects for your (electronically maintained) "Articles of Interest Log" is a key part of the course. You are required to add four new articles of interest each week, at minimum, to your log. This exercise becomes much more powerful when conversationally shared with others, and so such conversations are also required (and enter into your course grade!) You are encouraged to post notes on (or links to) projects of interest to any of our local student clubs:

Prepare For Each Lab:

There will only be two and a half hours of regularly scheduled lab time per week, but your activities must extend beyond this class time in order to achieve a desirable outcome.

Seek understanding of the appropriate reading materials before coming to lab!

Your laboratory notebook (maintained electronically or in handwritten form) should contain thorough sections covering each of the following areas, most of which require time outside of the regularly scheduled meetings (i.e., consider these tasks to be your homework for the laboratory portion of the course):

  • You are responsible for your experimental plan, and for connecting each element of your lab work to the underlying physics. You may cite sources, as long as you do so clearly and explain what you are learning from them.
  • Before taking data, engage in significant exploration of your experimental system. You should carefully note subtle changes from week to week, and should consider the physics underlying each element. Always consider the limitations of your equipment before beginning, to ensure that these limits are incorporated into your plan. All of these efforts should be clearly recorded in your laboratory notebook.
  • Clear predictive calculations serve as an important part of your experimental plan! Without them, you can neither celebrate having made correct predictions or having been surprised by nature! As you know by now, opportunities to celebrate should not be given up lightly.
  • Don't stop thinking about your work when the regularly scheduled meeting times draw to a close! A fair bit of "homework" will be needed in order for you to achieve the outcomes and level of analysis that you desire.

      - Lab Notebooks, whether maintained electronically or in handwritten form, must be accessible by the instructor and TA, for examination. Your lab notebooks are graded each weekend and are officially due every Saturday morning, by 9 am. Unexcused failure to work on your lab projects during a given week, results in a zero for that week.

      In grading your lab notebooks, I am looking for evidence of thought and analysis - and the degree to which you pursue clarity.

      - Let it be clear: the course is called "Optical Physics," and not "Optical Engineering." The end goal here is not a product; instead, you are expected to maintain a focus on trying to understand the underlying principles (which will serve you well even if you go into engineering).

Grading notes:

Final course grades will very heavily weight your laboratory performance.

Written work in lab notebooks will be assessed according to whether or not it compellingly presents clear attempts at application of physical and experimental principles. That is, you are to engage in argumentative writing (attempting, at each level, to present a cogent argument).

Writing aimed at (working towards or) conveying understanding is key!

Schedule undergoing REVISION:

-- What you see below constitutes random mutterings, and not (yet) a work of art:


Readings to expect random quizzes on

Hands-on Grapplings

Pen & Paper Exercises Computer Exercises Links
Pre-Week Prep Read Sect. 2.1-2.4 from our PHYS 317 text,
Quantum Mechanics: theory & experiment,
by Mark Beck, on the
"Classical Description of Polarization"
(also available in the library and the lab).

Also read Peatross & Ware Sect. 6.1 - 6.6

Printable Reference Sheet for the QUIZ:
Table of Jones Matrices
Aug 27 Class Consult your Intro Physics text re:
Dipole Antenna driven by an oscillator
Sketch the E-Field along the Optic Axis, and think about polarization
...and propagation delays, or time lags.
Be prepared to discuss
your readings on Polarization
(By 9AM, post questions to Piazza!)
Aug 27 Lab Pre-lab readings:
Optics Rules to Live By!
Lab 0

Optional supplement:
Birefringent Waveplates
Aug 29 Class Before class, read
Intro to Digital Optics:
with a Jones Matrix description of
(Polarizer + LCoS SLM + Analyzer)

Be prepared to utilize your readings.

Optional supplements:
Polarization Ellipse & Poincaré Sphere
Hurry to lab, for a QUIZ on implementing Ashley Carter's
"Optics Rules to Live By!"

Review notes on
hands-on demos:
Rope Wave and
Microwave Polarization
with discussion of
resistive losses

Lab 0:
Visible light polarizers,
Birefringent Waveplates: prequel to
Discussion of liquid crystals

You might also expect in-lab
hands-on demos:
Secret Monitors,
3D Glasses
Pen&Paper HW #1 due
Sept. 3:

Exercises 1, 2, 4
from Ch 6 of
Peatross & Ware

Pen&Paper HW #2 due, start of class Sept. 5:
Exercises 5, 6, and 10, 11
from Ch 6 of
Peatross & Ware

When does a
Philosophy Student
become a Philosopher?
(Join the conversation
at the RSO Fair!)
Coding HW#1
due by 1:00pm, Saturday:
applied to your own data
from this week's
Here's a classic note by Jearl Walker, about how to make your own birefringent waveplates.
[Or, if you prefer, here's a searchable text version
of the same article.]


Pre-Week Prep Review
Intro-Level Physics
readings on
Single-Slit Diffraction,
Multi-Slit Interference

(You'll need the review!!)
Sept 3 Class Emerging opportunities in
Computational Optics
& further discussion of
"The Paradigm of Programmable Parts"

Be prepared to utilize
your review of Intro-Level Physics
readings on
Single-Slit Diffraction,
Multi-Slit Interference
Sept 3 Lab
Pre-lab reading:

Pixels as a Platform

Sept 5 Class Prepare to discuss
your finalized lab work and analysis,
in class
Lab I: "Diffraction Noise" & Filling Fraction
of various devices
Pen&Paper HW #3 due
Sept 10:
Optics f2f Ch 1:
Exercises # 1.2, 1.6
Are you set to use LabVIEW for image and video capture?

Coding HW#2
due by 1:00pm, Saturday:

applied to your own data
from this week's

Embrace who we are:


Pre-Week Prep Shear-Plate Collimation Testers
(These will be used in Lab this week, and will reappear in a homework shortly thereafter.)

Optional Supplement:
Shearing Interferometers
Sept 10 Class Read Sect. 0.1 - 0.2 of Peatross & Ware,
then read Ch 1 of Optics f2f,
recasting PHYS 106 in terms of
differentials (div, grad, curl, & all that),
connecting Optics to PHYS 406 E&M.
Highlight Phasors, Spatial Frequency.
*_IF reading is done, class meets in lab!_*
Sept 10 Lab Pre-lab readings:

Read Lab II,
which notes that, to minimize aberrations, the optic axis of each lens can be aligned with the grid of the optical breadboard, as a fiducial reference. Key methods introduced involve "walking" a laser through "cloned" apertures, and beam expansion & collimation. Having mastered these, you can apply your methods towards Amplitude Modulation - encoding spatial patterns into a beam.

(Next week we encode temporal patterns)
Sept 12 Class Prepare to discuss Optics f2f Sect 1.12-1.15
Ray Tracing
*_IF reading is done, class meets in lab!_*
Lab II:
Part A:
"Walking" a laser through "cloned" apertures,
Beam expansion
Tests of collimation

Part A:
Qualitative observation, using
hand-held lenses, + Discussion

Part A:
Amplitude Modulation
Direct writing of spatial patterns within a beam
Pen&Paper HW #4 due
Sept 12:
Optics f2f Ch 1:
Exercises # 1.10, 1.13, 1.14, 1.15

Pen&Paper HW #5 due
Sept 17:
Optics f2f Ch 2:
Exercise # 2.1
(A multi-part problem)
Coding HW#3
due by 1:00pm, Saturday:

applied to your own data
from this week's

This week in Lab:

Explore how lens misalignments
(e.g., tilt?, displacement from optic axis?, misplacement along optic axis?, etc.)
yield distinct types of Aberrations in a beam expander or telescope.

Be prepared to use the terms below to describe, on a QUIZ, these kinds of observations:


Ray tracing credit: W M (Steve) Lee, now at The Australian National University


Pre-Week Prep
Fermat's Principle
Feynman's Phasors

Sept 17 Class Read Optics f2f Ch 2 :
Compare p. 5 phasors to p. 19 propagator

Pay special attention to
Exercises 2.5 and 2.6, re:
Sculpting output via
simple phase delay optics:
Case A: single-beam collimated input into a prism
yielding plane waves with
redirected k-vector
(imposing a linear phase lag)

Case B: single-beam collimated input into a plano-parabolic lens
yielding curved wavefronts moving towards the focal point
(imposing a quadratic phase lag)

Reflection, Refraction,
& in Sect. 2.13 onward,
"Paraxial" Optics
Sept 17 Lab Pre-lab readings:

Last week, you encoded spatial patterns
into a beam.
For this week's lab, read about
Phase-Modulation Mode
Calibration of time lags
encoded into local regions of a beam

Note the subtle changes in the set-up,
and consider the reasons!
(Michelson Interferometers will be
treated in detail in Optics f2f Ch 3 HW)
Sept 19 Class Prepare to discuss Optics f2f Ch 2 ,
to the end!
Lab III:

Towards computer-controlled holograms:

Calibration of Phase-only Modulation

You depend, critically, on keeping
Pen&Paper HW #6 due
Sept 19:
Optics f2f Ch 2:
Exercises # 2.4, 2.5, 2.6

Pen&Paper HW #7 due
Sept 24:
Optics f2f Ch 2:
Exercises # 2.7, 2.8, 2.9
Coding HW#4
due by 2:30pm, Sunday:

Image Processing
Image Analysis

applied to your own data
from this week's

"Fringe Science"
Imposing simple phase profiles can create and redirect multiple focal spots
(which, if aberration is minimal, can act as Optical Traps,
for micromanipulation of micro- and nano-components, or cold atoms)


A prism imposes local time delays equivalent to a linear phase lag

Similarly, a lens is equivalent to a parabolic phase profile.
For continuous wave illumination, we can write these phase profiles
modulo 2π: ThatsAllFolks

Simple phase profiles can be added (modulo 2π) to place multiple foci in three dimensions.
Note, too, that we can use such profiles to remove aberrations
of the sorts you explored last week
(e.g., due to displacement from optic axis, displacement along optic axis, etc.)


Pre-Week Prep
Review Diffractive Orders


Read Optics f2f Ch 3:
Multi-beam interference

Sept 24 Class
Prepare to discuss f2f Sect. 3.1-3.6:
Multi-beam interference (1)

Sept 24 Lab
Key Pre-lab readings:

Review the written solutions to
Exercises 2.5 and 2.6

Experiment IV: Wavefront Modification

...we start with
Diffractive Optic Elements (DOE)
that are equivalent to
Prisms & Lenses,
and which can be combined,
modulo 2π,
as an initial means
to sculpt patterns in 3D

(some coding required)

Sept 26 Class

EXAM #1: up through Optics f2f Sect. 3.6, and up through Lab IV

Lab IV:

(Wavefront Modification)

You will create
plane waves,
curved wavefronts
that travel along different directions by imposing simple
phase profiles

(and explore aliasing)

Computer-generated Holograms
Version 1.0
(Non-iterative algorithms)
Pen&Paper HW #8 due
Oct 1:
Optics f2f Ch 3:
Exercises # 3.1, 3.2, 3.4
Coding HW#5
due by 2:30pm, Sunday:

applied to your own data
from this week's

iHologram renders Fraunhofer holograms
that can be used, e.g., for Holographic Optical Tweezers and for Computational Ghost Imaging iHologramInstructions
Richard Bowman developed this app while in the Optics Group at Univ. of Glasgow,
and is now at Univ. of Bath


Pre-Week Prep Read remainder of Optics f2f Ch 3
Multi-beam interference (2)
(Note phasors carefully)
Oct 1 Class Discuss remainder of Optics f2f Ch 3
Multi-beam interference (2)
(Including Michelson Interferometer)
Oct 1 Lab Key Pre-lab reading:

Experiment V:
Virtual Slits:
measuring diffraction & interference
in the absence of any real diffractive object

Note that the use of virtual apertures
the need to do lots of manual realignment
each time we change the diffraction objects!!!
Oct 3 Class
Two interfering beams cannot cancel
at any point
unless they share the same polarization,
...but what about three beams?

Read Optics f2f Ch 4 in its entirety:
Polarization (Redux)

In-class coaster contest:
How could your set-up use a polarizing beam-splitter cube (PBS, Sect. 4.10)?
How about a wave plate (Sect. 4.13)?
Can you explain
polarization-directed flat lenses?
Lab V :


now using
Virtual Slits!
Pen&Paper HW #9 due Oct 3:
Optics f2f Ch 3:
Exercises # 3.5, 3.6, 3.11

Pen&Paper HW #10 due
Oct 8:
Optics f2f Ch 5:
Exercises # 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5
Coding HW#6
due by 2:30pm, Sunday:

applied to your own data
from this week's

Charles Adams describes this simulation
superimposing two co-propagating waves of opposite handedness
(Adjusting their relative phase difference will rotate the Polarization of the resultant wave)


Pre-Week Prep Read Optics f2f Sect. 5.1-5.6:


Key, beneath Eqn 5.3:
"This equation says that ...the Fresnel diffraction integral extends the discrete phasor sum we encountered in Ch 3 to infinitely many waves."
Oct 8 Class "Fraunhofer used a simplified form
of Fresnel's wave theory"
Read Optics f2f Sect. 5.7-5.8:
1D Fraunhofer diffraction
Oct 8 Lab Key Pre-lab readings:

Read Experiment VI:
Visualizing Shaped Wavefronts
via Michelson Interferometry

(Review Optics f2f Sect. 3.12,
and Exercise 3.11)

LIGO analogy lab
Oct 10 Class Read Optics f2f Ch 5 remainder
2D Fraunhofer diffraction, etc.
Lab VI:

Michelson Interferometer


Discussion of LIGO


Interference between a Reference Beam and a Shaped Wavefront
(for several cases)
Pen&Paper HW #11 due
Oct 10:
Optics f2f Ch 5:
Exercises # 5.7, 5.8, 5.9

Pen&Paper HW #12 due
Oct 15:
Optics f2f Ch 5:
Exercises # 5.13, 5.14, 5.15
Coding HW#7
due by 2:30pm, Sunday:

applied to your own data
from this week's

Explore the effects of the radius of a circular aperture in this simulation from Optics f2f, showing,
at top, a transverse slice (i.e., the imaging screen view), as well as,
at bottom, a longitudinal slice (i.e., tracing out the beam propagation):


Pre-Week Prep
In preparation for the next exam
consult Peatross & Ware:

P&W Ch 10, "Diffraction,"
(Read the Exercises, too)
(Watch video in L10.2)

P&W Ch 11 gives examples
(Exercises also have videos)

Oct 15 Class
Prepare to discuss Optics f2f Ch 5:
Fresnel & Fraunhofer

Oct 15 Lab
Pre-lab readings:

Through the looking glass

Oct 17 Class
Fourier Begins!

Pore over Sect 0.4 of Peatross & Ware

For the return of
the propagator
read Optics f2f Sect. 6.1-6.4

Holograms :

Functional Holographic (Magic Cube) Keyboard,

Diffractive Optic Elements,

Computer-Generated Holograms
Version 2.0
(Towards Iterative algorithms),

Holograms of Physical Objects
(LitiHolo Kits
the magic
of cut glass),

Chess (Up)Sets
Pen&Paper HW #13 due
Oct 17:
Optics f2f Ch 6:
Exercises # 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5

Pen&Paper HW #14 due
Oct 22:
Optics f2f Ch 6:
Exercises # 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9
(which simply asks you to write up Sect. 6.3-4, plugging in a few numbers for perspective).
Coding HW#8
due by 2:30pm, Sunday:

applied to your own data
from this week's

Explore online visualizations and the #PhysicsFactlet series
tweeted by Jacopo Bertolotti of the Univ. of Exeter, such as this one:
For all of his pedagogical visualizations, Prof. Bertolotti makes his Mathematica code available
on Wikimedia Commons


Pre-Week Prep For
MORE Fourier
(Yay! More!):
Read Ch 7 in Peatross & Ware
Oct 22 Class
(Read it aloud:)
MORE Fourier
(Yay! More!):
Read Ch 7 in Peatross & Ware

Oct 22 Lab
"Pixels as Platform"
Pre-lab readings:

Creating a
Virtual Instrument:

Experiment VII:
studied using Digital Optics
to create a
virtual spectrometer

Oct 24 Class
EXAM #2: up through Optics f2f Sect. 6.4 and up through Lab VI

Lab VII:

Dispersion studied using Digital Optics to create a virtual spectrometer
Pen&Paper HW #15 due Oct 24:
Optics f2f Ch 6:
Exercises # 6.10, 6.11

Pen&Paper HW #16 due Oct 29:
Optics f2f
Ch 6:
Exercises # 6.18, 6.19, and
Appendix B:
Exercise B.3
Dispersion (e.g., in a prism) and diffraction (as shown below in a figure from Optics f2f)
can both induce changes in the propagation direction of light.
Explain why, with dispersion higher frequencies are deflected most,
but for diffraction the higher frequencies see the least displacement.


Pre-Week Prep Read Sect. 9.3 of Peatross & Ware, about
Matrix Methods for "Paraxial" Optics.
-- Expect a quiz! --
Oct 29 Class In-class coaster contest prep:
Read Optics f2f Appendix B:
Fourier Transform Toolkit
(Highlighted on inside back cover)
Oct 29 Lab Pre-lab readings / viewings:
Read the work of Choi and Howell, and view their (4) supplemental movies.
In lab, you will follow this work, using ABCD matrices to design and build a "Cloaking Device," out of whatever extra large-diameter lenses are at hand.

A friend writes: If you have access to an iPad, or even a large-screen iPhone, RayLab is a really solid ray-tracing app. There is a free version, but from there you can upgrade for about $5 to the pro version (which can import Zemax files, supplied by vendors such as Thorlabs, Nikon, etc.). My friend, Doug Martin of Lawrence, is using it for the Warwick Open-Source Microscope

RayLab includes ABCD matrix analysis
(and control) of the optical elements
you might include in your own designs.
Oct 31 Class A Treat! A Beam Shaping Tutorial!
Optics f2f thru Sect 7.3:
Windowing and Spectral Leakage
Optical Cloaking:
a means of teaching
ABCD matrices

ABCD Matrix Tutorial
Pen&Paper HW #17 due Oct 31:
Optics f2f Ch 7:
Exercises # 7.1, 7.7, 7.8

Pen&Paper HW #18 due Nov 5:
Optics f2f Ch 8:
Exercises # 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4
Coding HW#9
due by 2:30pm, Sunday:

applied to your own data
from this week's

"Cloaking" device using ordinary lenses to hide objects across range of angles:


Pre-Week Prep
Read the remainder of Ch 7:
Time Domain

Plan your lab, identifying needed items for your INVENTED method!

Nov 5 Class
Read Optics f2f Sect. 8.1-8.3:
Temporal Coherence

Nov 5 Lab
Key Pre-lab readings:
Image Processing without a computer:
Your task is to INVENT how to improve upon this, with Digital Optics

Nov 7 Class
Read Optics f2f Sect. 8.4-8.9:
(noting Power spectral density)
This short blurb examining
Young's Double Slit in Color,
by Charles Adams


Signal Processing in the Fourier Domain

INVENT your own procedure before coming to lab!

Ask, in advance, for any needed items

This is your lab practical EXAM!
Pen&Paper HW #19 due Nov 7:
Optics f2f Ch 8:
Exercises # 8.5, 8.6, 8.7

Pen&Paper HW #20 due Nov 12:
Optics f2f Ch 9:
Exercises # 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4
Coding HW#10
due by 2:30pm, Sunday:

applied to your own data
from this week's

As described in this short blurb by Charles Adams,
explore Temporal Coherence effects, using the slider at the bottom of this figure from Optics f2f:


Pre-Week Prep

Read remainder of Optics f2f Ch 8:
Spatial Coherence, etc.

Plan your lab!
Nov 12 Class

Read Optics f2f Sect. 9.1-9.3:





Nov 12 Lab

Pre-lab readings:

Talbot Self-Imaging
(The topic of Experiment IX)

Optional supplement:
Observation of the Talbot effect
with water waves

Nov 14 Class
Optics f2f Sect. 9.4-9.5

Lab IX:

Talbot Self-Imaging

Invent your own procedure before coming to lab!
Pen&Paper HW #21 due Nov 19:
Optics f2f Ch 9:
Exercises # 9.5, 9.6, 9.7
Coding HW#11
due by 2:30pm, Sunday:

applied to your own data
from this week's

Scroll down within this pane for a celebratory discussion of Talbot Self-Imaging:
Greg Gbur, who writes the "Skulls in the Stars" blog, is a professor at UNC-Charlotte


Pre-Week Prep
remainder of
Optics f2f Ch. 9

Nov 19 Class
remainder of
Optics f2f Ch. 9

Nov 19 Lab
Pre-lab readings:

Experiment X:


Computer-Generated Holograms
Version 3.0
Iterative algorithms
The Optimization Conundrum

Nov 21 Class

EXAM #3: through Optics f2f Ch 9
and up through Lab X,
and Matrix Methods

Lab X:

Phase-shifting Digital Holography


Computer-Generated Holograms
Version 3.0
Iterative algorithms
The Optimization Conundrum
Pen&Paper HW #22 due Nov 21:
Optics f2f Ch 10:
Exercises # 10.1, 10.2, 10.3

Pen&Paper HW #23 due Nov 26:
Optics f2f Ch 10:
Exercises # 10.5, 10.7, 10.10
Coding HW#12
due by 2:30pm, Sunday:

applied to your own data
from this week's


Pre-Week Prep Read Optics f2f Ch 10.1-10.6:
Spatial Filtering examples
Nov 26 Class Read remainder of Optics f2f Ch 10:
Spatial Filtering
Nov 26 Lab Our Lab for this week is online (only):

Analyze every single option available in
this Optical Tweezers simulation
(using strongly focused light):

Requires that you install
the latest version of Java,
and grant permissions to run
(Post questions to Piazza)
Nov 28
(No class today)
Enter your analysis of the
Optical Tweezers app
(at left)
into your lab notebook

Pipe up (!) if you wish to supplement the simulation
by constructing your own
(live, hands-on) version of
Optical Tweezers
Holographic Optical Traps
Summer Internship Applications

(A required, graded exercise)

Coding HW#13
due by 2:30pm, Sunday:

applied to your own data
from this week's

Sometimes, information carried by light appears to be lost:

If we are clever enough, there can be ways of recovering "lost" information:


Pre-Week Prep Read Optics f2f Ch. 11
Beam Waist vs. Rayleigh Range,
& Gouy Phase, etc.
Dec 3 Class Discuss Optics f2f Ch. 11
Beam Waist vs. Rayleigh Range,
& Gouy Phase, etc.
Dec 3 Lab Lab EXAM: Spatial Filtering
Dec 5 Class Opportunities in
Computational Optics
The Paradigm of Programmable Parts

The Big Picture
Lab Practical:
Release Schrödinger's Cat!

Mull over the concept of

Catch-up /

Remember, all information is physical:

I'm interested in ways to recover
information that appears to be dissipated during transmission.
Wanna play?


Final Exam:
Thursday, Dec 12, 3:30-5:30 pm,
Room E105
Center for Natural Sciences
** Class Discussion Page on Piazza **
Course Plan

...You might be interested in discussing articles we've produced on these topics:

Your Dungeon Master: Office Hours

Gabe Spalding
(wishing you grand adventure)
(In CNS room C006B)
Monday: 2:00 - 3:50pm
Thursday: 2:30 - 4:20pm
Friday: 2:00 - 2:50pm

Grow the Conversation:

Our primary electronic form of communication is not email, but is via the Class Discussion Page on Piazza,
so please check the desktop version of that site regularly.
(There is also a free smartphone app for Piazza, and while it will display equations beautifully,
it is not as useful as the desktop version,
which provides a graphical template for entering LaTeX.)