Physics 428 Applied Optics

Physics 428: Applied Optics
Syllabus (Fall 2014)
Course title: Applied Optics
Course number: PHYS 428
Section number: 001
Pre-Requisite: PHYS 125 or PHYS 212
Meeting days, times and places:
Lecture: M W F 10:00 – 10:50 am. Room: Currens Hall 336
Laboratory: T or Th 3:00 – 4:50 pm. Room: Currens Hall 402
Course website:
Students are required to visit the course website for syllabus, course calendar, lecture notes,
solutions to homework, and other documents.
Instructor: Pengqian Wang, Associate Professor of Physics
Office: Currens Hall 536 and 111
Office hours: M W 1:00 – 2:00 pm, F 12:00 – 2:00 pm, and by appointment.
Phone: 309-298-2541, 309-298-3249
Fax: 309-298-2850
Required textbook:
“Optics”, by Eugene Hecht, 4th edition.
ISBN: 9780805385663
Chapters covered: Chapters 2-5, 8-10.
Course objectives:
This course introduces the fundamental principles in geometrical optics and wave optics. Upon
finishing this course the students will understand many optical phenomena occurring in everyday
life and understand the working principles of various optical instruments. Students will also
obtain hands-on skills on using optical devices in the laboratory.
Student rights and responsibilities:
1) Students are expected to attend all classes. Absences are not permitted unless preapproved.
Students are responsible for materials presented in class and for changes to the schedule or plans
which are announced in class.
2) Students are encouraged to discuss homework or laboratory problems with the instructor,
classmates or any other persons. However, all work submitted for a grade should be substantially
from the student himself. Copying homework, lab reports or exam answers may result in failing
in this course.
3) Please see for university policies on student rights
and responsibilities.
4) Please see for university policies on academic
ADA policy:
“In accordance with University policy and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), academic
accommodations may be made for any student who notifies the instructor of the need for an
accommodation. For the instructor to provide the proper accommodation(s) you must obtain
documentation of the need for an accommodation through Disability Resource Center (DRC) and
provide it to the instructor. It is imperative that you take the initiative to bring such needs to the
instructor's attention, as he/she is not legally permitted to inquire about such particular needs of
students. Students who may require special assistance in emergency evacuations (i.e. fire,
tornado, etc.) should contact the instructor as to the most appropriate procedures to follow in
such an emergency. Contact Disability Resource Center (DRC) at 298-2512 for additional
Course outline:
Chapter 2: Wave motion
Chapter 3: Electromagnetic theory, photons, and light
Chapter 4: Propagation of light
Chapter 5: Geometrical optics
Chapter 8: Polarization
Chapter 9: Interference
Chapter 10: Diffraction
Laboratory experiments:
1. Speed of light
2. Refraction and reflection
3. Laser beam manipulation
4. Dispersion
5. Brewster angle
6. Spherical mirrors and lenses
7. Interference I
8. Interference II
9. Polarization
Note to the laboratory: Lab schedule will be posted on course website and announced in class.
Lab manuals are available at the course website. Attendance at laboratory is mandatory. Absence
should be prearranged with an acceptable reason. Lab report guidelines and optics lab safety
rules are described in the beginning of the lab manual.
Homework problems are assigned at the end of each lecture, and are posted on the course
website. Students can contact the instructor for a copy of the homework problems for the first
two weeks of the semester if they cannot obtain a textbook in time. Homework is usually due on
Friday’s class of the next week. Overdue homework is not acceptable unless prearranged.
Solutions to homework are posted on the course website after the due date. These solutions are
password protected due to copyright issues. Homework problems should be done with
reasonable clarity.
Midterm exam 1: Chapters 2-4, tentatively on October 8
Midterm exam 2: Chapters 5, 8, tentatively on November 14
Final exam: Chapters 2-5, 8-10, December 15, 10:00 am-11:50 am
The dates of midterm exams may be changed to meet the needs of the students. All exams are
open-book and open-notes.
Grading policy:
1) Two midterm exams: 15% each, totally 30%
2) Homework: 20%
3) Laboratory: 25%
4) Final exam: 25%
Final grade:
A: 90-100
A-: 86-89
B+: 82-85
B: 78-81
B-: 74-77
C+: 70-73
C: 66-69
C-: 62-65
D+: 58-61
D: 54-57
D-: 50-53
F: 0-49
Note to grading:
The following bonus and penalty are used as a minor adjustment to the final grade.
1) Active discussions in and out of class are encouraged and will be positively considered in the
final grade.
2) Bonus will be given to who discovers errors in the textbook, the lecture notes and the posted
answers to the homework problems.
3) The penalty for extensive absence is the ratio of the missed time multiplied by 100 point.