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Advanced Optics


Admission Requirements none


This course treats optics and atom-field interaction at a level appropriate to MSc students. It does so by combining a textbook with material from a series scientific paper, and by stimulating prior reading and in-class discussions on the following topics:
1. Wave Optics, including optical propagation, diffraction, interference, and the role of spatial and spectral coherence therein.
2. Atom-field Interaction and Nano Photonics, including the challenge of tight focusing, near-field optics and metal optics.
3. Optical Techniques such as: reflectometry, spectroscopy, interferometry, diffractometry, scatterometry, polarimetry, imaging and microscopy

Course Objectives

  • Acquire detailed knowledge about optics, atom-field interaction and various optical techniques.

  • Be able to read and analyze scientific papers and present the essence thereof to an audience.

  • Investigate a particular topic in optics and present the findings in a short essay.


Physics Schedule

Mode of instruction

Lectures and student presentations.

Lectures will be presented preferably in a flipped classroom style, where students study the material in advance and where the lecture time is mainly used for questions, discussions and exercises. Students will present part of the lecture material themselves to promote participation and interaction.

Assessment method

The grading of this course will be based on:

  • Written exam on the first 2/3 of the lecture material (4/9 of final grade)

  • Essay on the final 1/3 of the lecture material

  • Student presentations during the course

  • Homework will be stimulated via a bonus system


Blackboard contains overview of the course structure, course material, and list of the scientific papers that will be discussed during the course.
To have access to Blackboard you need a ULCN-account.Blackboard UL

Reading list

J. Peatross and M. Ware, ‘Physics of Light and Optics’, ISBN 9781611660920. Also available in cheaper black-and-white version and as free download:


Contactdetails Teacher(s):Prof.dr. M.van Exter (Martin)
Contactdetails Teacher(s):Prof.dr. M.Orrit (Michel)
Contactdetails Teacher(s): Prof.dr. M.Beijersbergen(Marco)