For from the greatness and beauty of created things their original Author by analogy is seen. Wisdom 13:5

Phys 415 Optics


Instructor: Dr. James Caffrey Daly Office: Henkels 2059
Tel: 401-742-5759(cell) 239-867-4072(home)
Email:   (email read often)
Office Hours: MWF 1:15 - 2:15 a.m. Other times by appointment (Send email)
Lectures: MWF 12:00 - 1:05 pm Room: Henkels 2060
Text: Hecht, Optics, second edition, Addison-Wesley   ISBN 0-201-11609-X

The latest up to date information on important topics such as assignments, exams, policies, and schedules can be found on the course web site;
Prerequisite: Phys 223 or permission of instructor
Course Description and Objectives:   Topics include: Electromagnetic waves, reflection, refraction, geometric optics, phasors, polarization, interference, diffraction, Fourier optics, magnetic resonance imaging, lasers and fiber optics.
        The objective of this course is to understand the physics of optics and how knowledge of optics has advanced physics and applications.

After taking this course you will be able to;

These abilities are the course outcomes. They support physics program outcomes.

Assessment and Evaluation:   Your final grade will be determined by your performance on exams (40%), the final (30%), homework (20%), and attendance (10%). We will have 6 exams. The lowest will be dropped leaving 5 exams. Each exam is worth 8% (5x8%=40%).

IF a student fails to write the final, an F will be awarded as their final grade. The conversion to letter grades will be approximately of the form:

over 90 —> A     80 - 90 —> B     70 - 80 —> C     50 - 60 —> D     below 50 —> F    

subject to discretionary adjustments. It is possible (and highly desirable) that everyone in the class will be rewarded an "A".

Exams:   Each exam will consist of questions similar to homework and examples discussed in class. In solving a problem, the steps that lead to your answer must be shown to receive proper credit. Without intermediate steps, an otherwise correct answer may receive no credit. You may bring a reference sheet of your own devising (hand written) to the exams and final. There are no makeup exams. (Difficult situations may allow a missed exam to be dropped in the computing of your final grade).

Homework and Solutions:   Homework problems will be assigned and solutions will be made available. Your classmates or professors may assist you in mastering these exercises. Mutual assistance is to everyone's advantage.


No. Topic
Homework Due
5 each week
1. Wave Motion
Chapters 1 and 2
2. Electromagnetic Theory
Chapter 3
3. Reflection and Refraction 9/14 Exam 1
Chapter 4
4. Geometrical Optics
Chapter 5
5. Lens Systems 9/28 Exam 2
Chapter 6
6. Superposition of Waves
Chapter 7
7. Polarization 10/12 Exam 3
Chapter 8
8. Interference
Chapter 9
9. Diffraction 11/2 Exam 4
Chapter 10
10. Fourier Optics  
Chapter 11
11. Magnetic Resonance Imaging 11/16 Exam 5  
MRI Tutorial
12. Lasers 12/7 Exam 6  
Chapter 14

(best 5 of 6)  
40%   Exams are based on homework and lecture examples.
Homework 20%   Late home work is marked down 20%
Attendance 10%   First two absences are not counted. Late for class counted as 1/2 an absence. Don't come to class if you are sick.
Final 30%   Final is based on exams. It will assess course outcomes.
We are happy to accommodate students with disabilities.

Everyone's behavior is expected to exemplary and, at a minimum, in conformity with the Honor Code.

The instructor reserves the right to change or modify this course and the syllabus for justifiable reasons, subject to appropriate and timely notice to the students enrolled in this class.