Geometrical optics: ray matrices, Gaussian beams, optical instruments, and radiometry. Wave nature of light: Maxwell's equations, propagation through media with varying index of refraction (e.g. fibers). Interferometry: basic principles, practical systems, and applications. Limited enrollment.
Laser theory and practice. Lectures on the theoretical and descriptive background for lab experiments, detectors and noise, lasers (helium neon, beams and resonators, argon ion, cw dye, titanium sapphire, semiconductor diode, and the Nd:YAG). Measurements of laser threshold, gain, saturation, and output power levels. Laser transverse and axial modes, linewidth and tuning, Q-switching and modelocking. Limited enrollment,
Prerequisites: EE231 and 232 or consent of instructor.
Designed for undergraduate physics majors but open to all students with a calculus-based physics background and some laboratory experience. Students make and analyze observations using telescopes at the Stanford Student Observatory. Topics include navigating the night sky, the physics of stars and galaxies, telescope instrumentation and operation, quantitative error analysis, and effective scientific communication. Limited enrollment. Prerequisites: prior completion of Physics 40 or PHYSICS 60 series.