To understand the optical phenomena and their uses in physical systems

Propagation of Light & Image Formation:

Huygens’ Principle, Fermat’s Principle, Laws of Reflection and Refraction, Refraction at a Spherical Surface, Thin Lenses, Newtonian Equation for a Thin Lens.

Matrix Methods in Paraxial Optics:

Ray Transfer Matrices, Thick Lens, Significance  of  System  Matrix  Elements,  Cardinal  Points  of  an  Optical System with examples,   Optical Instruments including Simple Magnifiers, Telescopes and Microscopes, Chromatic and Monochromatic Aberrations, Spherical Aberrations, Coma, Distortion, Stops, Pupils, Windows.

Superposition & Interference:

Standing Waves, Beats, Phase and Group Velocities, Two-Beam and Multiple-Beam Interference, Thin Dielectric Films, Michelson and Fabry-Perot Interferometers, Resolving Power, Free-Spectral Range.


Jones Matrices, Production of Polarized Light, Dichroism, Brewster’s Law, Birefringence, Double Refraction.

Fraunhofer Diffraction:

From a Single Slit, Rectangular and Circular Apertures, Double Slit, Many Slits, Diffraction Grating, Dispersion, Resolving Power Blazed Gratings.

Fresnel Diffraction:

Zone Plates, Rectangular Apertures, Cornu’s Spiral

Coherence & Holography:

Temporal Coherence, Spatial Coherence, Holography of a Point object and an Extended Object

Laser Basics:

Stimulated Emission, Population Inversion, Resonators, Threshold and Gain, Multi-layered Dielectric Films.