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PHYS 427 B: Applications of Physics

Meeting Time: 
WF 1:30pm - 2:50pm
MGH 284
Joint Sections: 
PHYS 576 A
Mo Li
Mo Li

Syllabus Description:

Phys 427/576B Advanced Topics in Optics and Photonics (Winter 2020)


Instructor                  Prof. Mo Li                 Office             EEB M246
Tel                              206-616-6966             Email    
Time:                          1:30-2:50 WF              Room              PAB B101

Prerequisites: This class is open to seniors and graduate students in Physics, ECE, and MSE. Prerequisite requires a solid background in electromagnetic theory and quantum mechanics.

Synopsis: Optics and photonics are one of the most fast-developing fields in science and engineering. The impact of photonics technology of the society and everyday life has been tremendous, ranging from telecommunication to the display in smartphones, and more recently to Lidar in autonomous cars. Remarkably, all of these technologies fundamentally have their roots in Maxwell’s equations and solid-state physics.

After a quick review of E&M and wave propagation, this course will provide an advanced survey of the latest topics in photonics and optics with moderate depth. The course will emphasize the theoretical backgrounds of the topics and the latest development that are not covered by other courses.

Lecture Topics (20 Lectures)

Quick review of E&M Theory and Wave Propagation  (2 Lectures)

Maxwell equations, EM waves in isotropic and anisotropy media, Gaussian beams

Guided wave optics (3 Lectures)

Modes in dielectric slab waveguides, Modes in circular waveguides and fibers, Dispersion effect in optical fibers, Coupled mode theory

Optical resonators (3 Lectures)

Fabry-Perot resonators, Cavity mode stability, Losses, quality factor, finesse, Travelling wave resonators

Electro-optic devices (2 Lectures)

Electro-optic effect, Amplitude and phase modulation

Optical Properties of Materials (4 Lectures)

Complex dielectric function, absorption spectrum, excitons, luminescence, quantum confinement effect, phonons and polaritons

Nonlinear Optics (6 Lectures)

Wave propagation in nonlinear media, second-harmonic generation, Parametric amplification, Frequency up-conversion, Frequency comb generation, Multiphoton imaging


  • Yariv and P. Yeh, Photonics: Optical Electronics in Modern Communications, 6th edition, Oxford, New York (2007).
  • Fox, Optical Properties of Solids, 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press (2010)
  • Boyd, R. W. (2008). Nonlinear optics. 3rd Amsterdam ; Boston, Academic Press.



There will be 3-4 homework assignments, one take-home final exam and a term paper. The allocation of the grade will be:  Homework: 50%    Final: 30%      Term Paper: 20%





Catalog Description: 
Current applications of physics to problems in the sciences and technology.
GE Requirements: 
Natural World (NW)
Section Type: 
Last updated: 
January 14, 2020 - 9:41pm