TFY4195 - Optics


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Written examination
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Written examination 100/100 4 hours C

Course content

Geometrical optics. Matrix description of imaging systems. Introduction to optical imaging systems: human eye, camera, telescope, microscope. Electromagnetic waves. Wave optics and polarization. Coherent and incoherent light sources. Total internal reflection and optical waveguiding. Interference and far-field diffraction.

Learning outcome

The student will get an introduction to the discipline of optics and its role in the modern society.

The student shall master the geometrical approximation, including Guass thin lens formula, Fermat's and Huygen's principles, and the paraxial matrix formalism for refractive and reflective surfaces. The student will be able to analyze typical optical imaging systems, with emphasis on the human eye, the camera, the telescope and the microscope.

The wave optics part of the course will give the student a basic knowledge within interferometry, polarization, diffraction, and the basics of coherent and non-coherent light sources. The student shall become able to analyze and calculate interference between plane waves and spherical waves, reflection and transmission of plane waves, and optical wave guiding within thin plates and optical fibers. The student shall understand how the polarization of light changes at reflection and transmission at interfaces

The student shall know the conditions for near and far-field diffraction and be able to calculate the far-field diffraction from gratings and simple aperture functions. The student shall have knowledge about and be able to explain concepts such as numerical aperture, F-number, spatial resolution and image quality for optical systems that originates from diffraction.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and demonstrations, calculations exercises, compulsory laboratory exercises. The course might be given in English if international master students follow the course. Expected work load in the course is 225 hours.

Compulsory assignments

  • Laboratory exercises

Further on evaluation

The re-sit examination (in August) may be changed from written to oral.
If the course is given in English, the exam might be given only in English

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Course materials

Book: Pedrotti 'Introduction to Optics' - 3rd ed. (Pearson; 2007).

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SIF4040 7.5
More on the course

Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Third-year courses, level III


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2020

No.of lecture hours: 4
Lab hours: 2
No.of specialization hours: 6

Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2021

No.of lecture hours: 4
Lab hours: 2
No.of specialization hours: 6

Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Optics
  • Physics
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Physics



Examination arrangement: Written examination

Term Status code Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Digital exam Room *
Autumn ORD Written examination 100/100 C INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Written examination 100/100 C INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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