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PHY3037 : Photonics

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Noel Healy
  • Lecturer: Dr Victor Pacheco Pena
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce the fundamentals of light matter interaction.

To provide an introduction to optical communications through optical fibres to allow a basic level of design calculation and evaluation to be performed.

To provide an understanding of the fundamental principles of light amplification and the laser.

To impart a broad appreciation of the plethora of modern applications of photonics and the most important emerging topics in this field.

Outline Of Syllabus

The nature of light:
Wave descriptions. Photon description and phenomena (photoelectric effect, momentum, interaction with matter), Kramers–Kronig relations. Description of light in terms of polarization, coherence, mono/polychromatic and Jones vectors & matrices.

Light generation:
LEDs & Lasers; Einstein A and B coefficients, rate equations, population inversion, gain and losses, resonators, laser threshold, 3 and 4 level systems, cavity modes and mode locking.

Basics of waveguides and optical fibres:
Waveguide structure, single and multimode fibres, dispersion, transmission characteristics.

Advanced topics:
Nonlinear optics, quantum optics, nano-photonics and plasmonics

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00Formal Lectures – Present in Person
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion371:0037:00Completion of in course assignments/ examination revision
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study411:0041:00Preparation time for lectures, background reading, coursework review
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time111:0011:00Synchronous On Line problem class
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are used for the delivery of theory and explanation of methods, illustrated with examples, and for giving general feedback on marked work.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A100N/A
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A substantial formal unseen examination is appropriate for the assessment of the material in this module.

In the event of on-campus examinations not being possible, an on-line alternative assessment will be used for written examination 1.

Reading Lists