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PHY3037 : Photonics

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • 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 provide an understanding of the fundamental principles of light amplification and the laser.

To introduce the fundamentals of light matter interaction.

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

To introduce the fundamental principles and properties of non-linear optics.

Outline Of Syllabus

Light generation:

LEDs & Lasers; Einstein A and B coefficients, rate equations, population inversion, gain and losses, resonators, laser threshold, 3 and 4 level systems, optical forces.

The nature of light:

Wave descriptions. Lorentz and Drude models, Kramers–Kronig relations, complex refractive index.

Advanced topics:

Nonlinear optics. Fundamentals of 2nd and 3rd order non-linear processes. Fundamentals of advanced topics: plasmonics.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00Problem solving classes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00Formal Lectures
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
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching methods are appropriate to allow students to develop a wide range of skills, from understanding basic concepts and facts to higher-order thinking. Lectures are used for the delivery of theory and explanation of methods, illustrated with examples, and for giving general feedback on marked work. Problem classes are used to help develop the students' abilities at applying the theory to solving problems.

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.

The format of the examination will enable students to reliably demonstrate their own knowledge, understanding and application of learning outcomes. The assurance of academic integrity forms a necessary part of programme accreditation.

Examination problems may require a synthesis of concepts and strategies from different sections, while they may have more than one ways for solution. The examination time allows the students to test different strategies, work out examples and gather evidence for deciding on an effective strategy, while carefully articulating their ideas and explicitly citing the theory they are using.

Reading Lists