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PYU44P06 Modern Optics

Hilary Term – 24 lectures– 5 credits (J Donegan, L Bradley)

Part I: Optical Properties of Materials
Part II: Nonlinear Optics

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the classical theory of light propagation in solid materials, together with a knowledge of the quantum theory of absorption and emission in solids
  • Interpret the measured optical spectra of solid materials
  • Perform calculations of optical properties of solids
  • Perform calculations to determine material characteristic parameters and experimental design for wavelength conversion, pulse measurement by autocorrelation, four-wave-mixing and z-scan techniques
  • Select materials for nonlinear optical applications based on an understanding of their material properties, especially their birefringent properties and non-linear refractive index.
  • Describe nonlinear processes such as second harmonic generation, electro-optic effects, four-wave-mixing, self-phase modulation and optical phase conjugation.


Part I: Optical Properties of Materials
Electron oscillator model of the propagation of light in insulators and metals, complex refractive index, absorption coefficient and dispersion. Effect of energy bands on optical properties, direct and indirect bandgap semiconductors. Exciton absorption in semiconductors and insulators. Optical properties of defects and dopants in semiconductors and insulators.

Part II: Nonlinear Optics
Basic concepts: second and third order nonlinear processes and susceptibilities. Materials and microscopic origins of nonlinearity.