ECE 41200 - Introduction to Engineering Optics


Will be offered spring only semesters effective fall 2016. Students are also suggested to consider taking the lab course ECE 41300 together with ECE 41200.

Course Details

Lecture Hours: 3 Credits: 3

Counts as:

  • EE Elective
  • CMPE Selective - Special Content

Normally Offered:

Each Spring


On-campus only


(ECE 30411 or ECE 31100) and ECE 30100 [may be taken concurrently]

Requisites by Topic:

Basic concepts of electromagnetism such as Maxwell's equations, uniform plane waves and reflection and refraction of plane waves

Catalog Description:

The control and characteristics of optical radiation are covered. Applications to optical instrumentation, thin films, holography and polarizing optics are discussed. Major topics: Geometrical Optics: Lenses, prisms; Huygens' principle, Fermat principle; Rays; Incoherent light. Physical Optics: Gratings, interferometers, diffraction elements, polarizers; Huygens-Fresnel principle, Maxwell's equations; Waves; Field vectors; Amplitude and phase, Coherent light. Law of reflection and refraction.

Course Objectives:

The student should be able to: Analyze simple optical systems consisting of lenses, stops, reflectors and prisms, determine and use principal points and focal points, and calculate and describe optical aberrations. Analyze and design polarization systems, including wave plates, optically active materials, and Faraday rotators. Analyze interferometers such as the Michelson, Fabry-Perot, thin film and double-slit. Analyze Fraunhofer and Fresnel diffraction patterns, design simple spatial filters, determine and use transfer functions of optical systems, and apply these principles to holography.

Required Text(s):

  1. Fundamentals of Photonics , E.A. Saleh & Malvin Carl Teich , Wiley-Interscience , 2007 , ISBN No. 9780471358329

Recommended Text(s):


Learning Outcomes:

A student who successfully fulfills the course requirements will have demonstrated:
  1. An ability to analyze simple optical systems (dielectric slabs, thin lenses, reflectors). [1]
  2. An ability to model Gaussian beams and the transformation of beams. [1]
  3. An ability to analyze and design polarization systems, including polarizers and wave plates. [1,2]
  4. A knowledge of optical interferometers and the operations of interferometers such as the Michelson, Fabry-Perot and double-slit. [1]
  5. An ability to analyze diffraction patterns. [1]

Lecture Outline:

Lectures Topic
1-11 Intro (1) - Ray Optics (10): Reflection, Refraction, Snell's Law (1) Huygens principle, Fermat principle (1), Simple optical components, Reflectors, Mirrors, Prisms (3), Thin lenses (1), Thick lenses, lens systems (1), Chromatic and achromatic aberrations (2), Ray matrices (2)
12-22 Wave Optics (11): Monochromatic waves, Optical components, Reflection and refraction by EM approach (2), Diffraction gratings (1), Superposition of waves (2), Interference (2), Two-beam interferometers, Temporal coherence (2), Multiple-beam interferometers, Thin films (1), Spatial coherence (1)
23-26 Beam Optics (4): Gaussian beams (2), Transmission through optical components (2) Fourier Optics (10): Plane waves, Huygens-Fresnel principle (1), Optical Fourier transform (1), Diffraction, Fraunhofer diffraction, Fresnel diffraction (3), Image formation, Filtering, Transfer function (4), Holography (1)
37-43 Polarization Optics (7): Polarization, Jones Calculus (2), polarizers Waveplates (2), Optical Activity, Liquid Crystals (2), Faraday Rotation, Optical Isolators (1)
2 Tests

Assessment Method:

You will have more than one opportunity to satisfy each of the Course Outcomes. The primary means will be through homeworks, the two tests during the semester and one final exam. We will write questions for each test/exam around each of the Course Outcomes. You will satisfy each Course Outcome when your score for the test question(s) equals or exceeds a value we specify as representing a minimal competency. If you fail to meet this level of minimal competency on a specific Course Outcome, you will have a second chance through a retest or other additional assignment.