Light is ubiquitous in daily life and a powerful tool in natural sciences. This lecture course will provide an introduction into the principles and applications of modern optics. Questions that will be addressed are for example: What are light waves and light rays? How can we describe light propagation in matter? Why are evanescent waves useful in touch pads? What is the diffraction limit and how can it be overcome? What is so special about laser light? How can ultrashort laser pulses take movies of the vibration of molecules and precession of spins?
A rough outline of the lecture course is as follows:
- From Maxwell equations to optics
- Plane waves: reflection, refraction, polarization
- Light beams: diffraction limit, Gaussian beams, Fourier optics
- Coherent and incoherent light
- Femtosecond lasers and nonlinear optics
In the exercises, the course topics will be illustrated by practical examples, both analytical and numerical using Python and/or Matlab.