OPSE 301 - Introduction to Optical Science and Engineering

Prerequisites: Phys 121. Laboratory and lecture introduces optics and photonics principles with their elementary applications for applied physics, engineering, computer science, or biology majors. Topics include speed at light, reflection, refraction, geometric optics, interference and interferometry, polarization, dispersion, birefringence, fiber-optics, diffraction, introduction to spectroscopy and ray tracing.

COURSE OUTLINE with Lecture notes


HW 5 - Friday 10/19 8:30AM

HW 6 - Tuesday 10/23 8:30AM

MIDTERM - Tuesday Oct 30th 8:30AM (in-class)

Lab 5 writeup - THrusday Nov 1st

HW 7 - Tuesday Nov 6


Review Sessions for Midterm (to be counted as a 'makeup' class) will be held in the OPSE lab (except for one time slot on tuesday) for the dates and times listed below. I will be in the OPSE lab at the beginning of each of the time slots. If you arrive after the start time, and no one is in the OPSE lab, that means that no one showed up at the start time. Just stop by my office (474 Tiernan Hall) and knock on the door on

TUESDAY 10/23 - 7:30-8:30AM,

11:30-12:30pm (THis session ONLY will meet in PHysics Department Conference Room)

Weds 10/24 7:30-9AM, 1-3pm

THursday 10/25 7:30-8:30AM, 1-2:30pm, 2:30-4pm.

GRADES and Logbook of Assignments: SECTION 001

Home work Solutions: WK1, WK2, WK3, WK4, WK5, WK6, WK7, WK8, WK10, WK12, WK13

Fall 2013 Midterm, Fall 2013 Midterm Solutions, Fall 2014 Midterm Solutions
Fall 2015 Midterm, Fall 2015 Midterm Solutions, Fall 2016 Midterm Solutions

Final Exam Equation Sheet


Sample Final Exam Problems: Fall 2010, Fall 2008, Fall 2007, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016

Solutions: Fall 2013, Fall 2014

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE COURSE CONTENT VARIES FROM YEAR TO YEAR. Consult the syllabus and assigned HW problems and labs to determine what will be covered on this year's exams

Laboratories for OPSE 301

The following labs are available for download in Adobe Acrobat PDF or Word Format.


Lab 2: Index of Refraction, Total Internal Reflection, and Critical Angle PDF Format    Word  Format

Lab 3-PHY: Wave Plates and Polarization of Light PDF Format    Word Format

Lab 3-BME: Chirality and Polarization of Light PDF Format    Word Format

Lab 5: Absorption of Light by an Organic Dye PDF Format    Word Format michfr~1.jpg (3369 bytes)(updated Fall 2018)

Lab 7: Detection of Light PDF Format    Word Format michfr~1.jpg (3369 bytes)(updated Fall 2018)

Lab 12: Light Sources - Monochrometers and Light Sources

Physics Version Word Format   BME Version Word Format

Lab 13: Michelson Interferometer 

PDF Format    Word Format

Lab 14: Fiber Optics/ Vibration Sensor PDF Format   Word Format