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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Optics (UL)
Module Code PS480L
School School of Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Eilish McLoughlin
Semester 2: Eilish McLoughlin
Autumn: Eilish McLoughlin
Module TeachersEilish McLoughlin
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

The aim of this course is to develop and extend the students knowledge of the principles of physical optics and introduce the students to contemporary optics.

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe how physical optics effects arise and the principles that underlie contemporary optics.
2. Discuss the physical processes responsible for physical optics and in contemporary optics.
3. Describe physical basis and experimental observations of physical optics
4. Derive relevant equations describing physical and contemporary optics, from basic laws and principles.
5. Solve numerical problems, from information provided, on the topics covered.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture242 hours of asychronous lectures per week accessed as pre-recorded videos
Online activity242 hours of scheduled synchronous online activities per week.
Assessment Feedback24Student learning support facilitated through small-group tutorials with flexible provision.
Independent Study53Student self directed learning
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

wave description, wave equation, plane waves.

Electromagnetic energy transport
EM waves, Poynting vector. Light in a dielectric: electron-oscillator model, refractio

Light at an interface
refraction, reflection, Fresnel equations

polarisation states, Malus's law, birefringence, wave plates and compensators, optical activity, photoelasticity.

wavefront splitting interferometers, amplitude splitting interferometers, multiple beam interference, applications

Frauhofer diffraction, Fresnel diffraction, Kirchoffs scalar diffraction theory

Fourier optics:
Fourier transforms, optical applications

visibility and mutual coherence.

Contemporary optics:
lasers, fibre optics, holography, nonlinear optics.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Completion of online activitySolve optics problem based on mathematical/quantitative aspects of module concepts50%As required
In Class TestSolve optics problem based on mathematical/quantitative aspects of module concepts50%Once per semester
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • E. Hecht: 2003, Optics 4th Edition, Pearson Education,
  • F.L. Pedrotti & L.M. Pedrotti: 2006, Introduction to Optics 3rd Edition, Pearson Education,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
PDITPProfessional Diploma in Teaching Physics

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