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Laser Physics

Official description

This course, which is intended to be an introduction to research in optical sciences, covers the statistics of optical fields and the physics of lasers. Topics include the principles of laser action, laser cavities, properties of laser radiation and its propagation, the diffraction of light, and spatial and temporal coherence.

PHY350H1, PHY358H1, PHY385H1/ECE318H1
Recommended preparation
                            ['Laser Physics by Peter W. Milonni and Joseph H. Eberly (Wiley, 2010)']
Breadth requirement
Distribution requirement

Additional information

Interference effects in coherent light requires a description beyond ray optics or simple plane waves.  The first half of this course builds on your foundation of electromagnetic theory and basic optics to develop advanced topics such as interference, spatial coherence, temporal coherence, and diffraction of light.  The second half of the course discusses lasers, which are the brightest sources of coherent radiation.  Our treatment includes Gaussian beams, resonant cavities, threshold criteria, the Lorentz model of the atom, and a comparison to thermal radiation.

course title
year of study
4th year
time and location
24L: LEC0101 and LEC9101: M10, R10, On Line Synchronous Students will be expected to watch asynchronous lecture videos prior to class meetings. Tutorials will be available only as online synchronous at their scheduled times. It is recommended that students have a computer with a microphone and camera in order to participate in online activities.
Course URL

Delivery Methods

In Person

A course is considered In Person if it requires attendance at a specific location and time for some or all course activities.*.

* Subject to adjustments imposed by public health requirements for physical distancing.

Online - Synchronous
A course is considered Online Synchronous if online attendance is expected at a specific time for some or all course activities, and attendance at a specific location is not expected for any activities or exams.
A course is considered Asynchronous if it has no requirement for attendance at a specific time or location for any activities or exams.