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- Lecture 17
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An introduction to optics with an emphasis on understanding the

origins of optical phenomena based on the fundamental theoretical

underpinning provided by Maxwell’s equations.

I 30% Labs (begin week of 14 Jan.)

I 15% Weekly Homework

I 10% In class activities and other things

I 15% Midterm Exam

I 30% Final Exam

We will rely on, and do problems from

Classical and Modern Optics by Dan Steck

Fundamentals of Photonics by B. Saleh and M. Teich.

both of which are available on line.

Outline Chapters have been re-ordered to move diffraction earlier:

I Maxwell’s Equations lead to waves (Steck 4)

I Diffraction(Steck 12)

I Fourier Optics (Steck 12)

I Gaussian Optics (Steck 6)

I Polarization and Jones matrices (Steck 8)

I Reflections and the Fresnel Equations (Steck 9)

I Thin Films (Steck 10)

I Fabry Perot Cavities (Steck 7)

I Lasers (Steck 15)

This order helps the labs to make sense sooner.

Diffraction leads to knowing a lens takes a spatial Fourier

transform. A gaussian is its own Fourier transform, thus a

self-diffracting shape. Gaussians form the beam profile in laser

cavities.

Ray Optics Chapter 2 in Steck, Chapt 1 in s& T.

important principals. We all know this ray-thing is a fiction and

light is actually a wave.

path which requires the least (or maybe the most) time. Later we

will see that this is a consequence of light traveling as a wave. For

now, we will just explore a few examples. Geometrical optics and

Snell’s law are examples of solutions of Fermat’s principal.

Optimize mirror path

Optimize refractive path.

rays 2

all arrive at one place and form an image, the times of flight along

all of the paths is the same.

In this example, there are short paths which spend a long time in

slow glass and shorter paths which are barely delayed in the glass.

In terms of the distances from the lens to the object and image, R1

and R2 , what is the focal length of this lens?

rays 3

Remarks about Michelson Interferometers

you will assemble

and align a

Michelson

interferometer and

then use it to make

some Part

measurements’ of the signal from a light source is reflected off

of a beamsplitter. This beam is reflected from

a mirror and transmitted through the same

beamsplitter. You can put a detector where

the Reflected-Transmitted beam goes.

Michelson 2

mirror so that the beam which is

originally transmitted at the

beamsplitter rejoins the first

beam.

the interferometer there should

be interference fringes due to a

phase difference between the two

beams.

The phase difference between

light traveling along the two

paths grows as one of the mirrors

Add a detector. Move one mirror. is moved.

Michelson 3

If the electric field where the light first hist the beamsplitter is

E (t), then the electric fields of the two beams correspond to

slightly earlier times.

intensity at the output is the average value of E 2 .

I ∝< E 2 >t = E12 + E22 + 2 < E (t − 2L1 /c) × E (t − 2L2 /c) >t

are equal this sum ranges from 0 to 1 times 2E 2 depending on

(L1 − L2 ).

L1 − L2

I (∆L) ∝ sin2 .

λ

Michelson 4

Imagine that a light source gives out a sine wave, but with an

arbitrary phase change now and then. The mean time between

phase jumps is called a coherence time.

not encountered a phase jump.

Conic Sections as mirrors: a last remark on least time.

the set of points which are all the same distance from a single

point. An ellipse is the set of all points for which the sum of the

distances to two points is constant. A parabola is the set of all

points for which the difference between the distance from the

focus and the curve and the curve to a straight line are constant.

All of these shapes can act as a focussing mirror.

Let’s explore how this works.

Paraxial Optics

effort working with distance d along the optic axis, y

systems which are (nearly) changes but θ does not.

symmetric about an optic

y1 = yo + d sin θo (1)

axis. In this case only

off-axis distance and angle θ1 = θo (2)

suffice to specify a ray.

It is very tempting to write this as a

matrix, except for the difference

between θ and sin θ.

paraxial 2

For what angle is this approximation wrong by 1%?

We will call the region near the optic axis, with small θ Paraxial.

When these conditions are met we can write the ray propagation

equations as a matrix.

y1 1 d yo

= (3)

θ1 0 1 θo

We can work out matrices for (thin) lenses, mirrors, etc in this

same approximation. To keep angles small, we will need our optic

elements not to be very curved, so we require y << R, the radius

of curvature of any surface.

paraxial 3 A thin lens and a plane mirror.

We will treat this lens as is to ALWAYS treat the

THIN, so that angles projection of the propagation

change but positions do direction as a positive number.

not Even though in our own reference

frame θ has flipped sign from

rising to the left to rising to the

1 0 right, in this convention it

MLens = .

−1/F 1 remains positive.

(4)

1 0

Mmirror = . (5)

0 1

Fourier Optics Lab.

We will show that the intensity pattern far from an opaque screen

is the Fourier Transform of the shape of the hole in the screen.

This is called Frauenhofer diffraction. We already know that a lens

transforms light which would have gone off parallel to infinity and

brings it to a focus a distance F from the lens.

Together, these remarks imply that the intensity pattern in the rear

focal plane of a lens is the Fourier transform of the light in the

principal plane of that lens.

Fourier Lab

lens to see the result.

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