Topic outline

  • The course gives a general understanding of the concepts and phenomena relevant to modern optics and photonics, and prepares the student for more advanced and specialised treatments of the topics.

    The course walks the student through the basics of electromagnetic waves, light polarization, interference and diffraction, optical coherence, light-matter interaction and the principles of lasers. It includes 11 weeks of lectures, 10 weeks of home exercise rounds, exercise sessions, and a final exam.

  • Workload

    • Lectures 22 h + reading the lecture material 30 h
    • Exercise sessions 20 h + home exercises 40 h
    • Independent study 20 h
    • Exam 3 h

    In total 135 h (42 contact hours and 93 hours of independent work)


    • Home exercises 20 %
    • Exam (5 tasks) 80 %

    To pass the course, at least 50 % must be obtained.

  • Lectures are on Mondays, 14:15-16:00. They are based on the books:

    • A. Lipson, S.G. Lipson, H. Lipson, Optical Physics (4th ed.), Cambridge University Press 2011
    • E. Hecht, Optics (5th ed.), Pearson Education Limited 2017
    • F.L. Pedrotti, L.M. Pedrotti, L.S. Pedrotti, Introduction to Optics 
(3rd ed.), Cambridge University Press 2018

    The lecture notes (which are the collections from these books) will be added here every week:

  • Exercise sessions (on Wednesdays, 14:15-16:00)

    Problem sets and model solutions distributed via MyCourses

    • 2 home assignments per week
      • worth one exam problem out of five (6 points)
      • solutions presented briefly in the exercise sessions

    • 1-2 demo (/home) assignments per week
      • 2 extra bonus points for the exam
      • solutions presented more exactly in the exercise sessions
    Assignments must be returned before the exercise sessions via MyCourses

  • The exam will take place X.XX.2023 at 9:00-12:00