Skip to main content


PHY2032 : Optics (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Thomas Billam
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To enhance student’s knowledge of fundamentals of optics and its applications in optical instrumentation and laser science and technology.

Outline Of Syllabus

Geometric optics. Lenses and mirrors.

Optical instruments. Interference, diffraction, and polarization.

Plane waves; Fourier transforms: Fraunhofer and Fresnel diffraction; Rayleigh criterion; Resolving power of a grating.

Fabry Perot interferometry. Gaussian modes of a cavity; Lasers and cavities.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Coursework assignment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture61:006:00Tutorials will cover solutions to practical sample problems.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00Formal Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion300:3015:00Revision for final exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery120:102:00Office hours
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study143:0043:00Reviewing lecture notes; practicing in solving exercises; gaining understanding of course material
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The material will be delivered through the medium of lectures. The tutorials will allow the students to discuss the material of the course and work on exercises set through the course. Office hours (two per week) provide an opportunity for more direct contact between individual students and the lecturer: a typical student might spend a total of one or two hours over the course of the module, either individually or as part of a group.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A90N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M10Two assignments worth 5% each
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A substantial formal unseen examination is appropriate for the assessment of the material in this module. The examination provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding of the lecture course material.
The problem solving aspects of the examination enable the students to demonstrate that they are able to apply this understanding and their analysis to optical systems.
The problem solving exercises are expected to consist of two assignments of equal weight: the exact nature of assessment will be explained at the start of the module. The coursework assignments allow the students to develop their problem solving techniques, to practise the methods learnt in the module, to assess their progress and to receive feedback; these assessments have a secondary formative purpose as well as their primary summative purpose.

Reading Lists