Course Identification

Free Space and Guided Wave Optics

Lecturers and Teaching Assistants

Prof. Dan Oron
Dr. Dekel Raanan, Dr. Gur Lubin, Dr. Viacheslav Smartsev

Course Schedule and Location

Second Semester
Monday, 11:15 - 13:00, Weissman, Seminar Rm A
Wednesday, 11:15 - 13:00, Weissman, Seminar Rm A

Field of Study, Course Type and Credit Points

Physical Sciences: Lecture; Elective; Regular; 4.00 points
Chemical Sciences: Lecture; Elective; Regular; 4.00 points
Chemical Sciences (Materials Science Track): Lecture; Elective; Regular; 4.00 points


Will be taught via Zoom starting April 19th.





Language of Instruction


Attendance and participation

Expected and Recommended

Grade Type

Numerical (out of 100)

Grade Breakdown (in %)


Evaluation Type

Take-home exam

Scheduled date 1


Estimated Weekly Independent Workload (in hours)



  1. Geometrical optics: The eikonal equation ; Reflection and refraction ; Snell's law ; Imaging ; Simple optical elements and the thin lens ; ABCD matrices ; Aberrations (chromatic, spherical, astigmatism) ; Aberration correction.
  2. Electromagnetic waves: Maxwell equations ; Plane waves; Gaussian beams ; Polarization ; Continuity conditions ; Brewster's angle ; Vector beams.
  3. Fourier optics: The Fourier transform. Scalar diffraction. Fresnel and Fraunhoffer approximations.
  4. The angular spectrum of waves: Spatial resolution ; Lenses ; Imaging ; Imaging with coherent and with incoherent light ; "non-diffracting" beams.
  5.  Spatial filtering and all optical signal processing (amplitude, phase, matched filter); Spectral filtering (gratings - thin and thick, grating properties, blazing).
  6. Microscopy - applications of spatial filtering and beyond: Bright field ; Dark Field ; Fluorescence imaging ; Phase contrast ; Polarization ; DIC ; Confocal ; Structured illumination ; Sub-diffraction limited imaging (PALM/STORM, STED).
  7. Optical fibers: Index guiding ; Fiber modes ; Single mode fibers ; Multimode fibers ; dispersion (mode + material). Mode matching ; Other modes of guiding (Hollow core, Omniguides, PCFs). Control of wave propagation in fibers. Surface plasmons: The dispersion relation and its consequences on resolution and loss. Interplay between localized and propagating plasmons.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate good proficiency in topics in optical wave propagation, imaging and its limitations, Fourier domain dynamics and control.
  2. Continue with further advanced studies of various topics in atomic, molecular and optical physics.
  3. Design and understand the design of basic optical instruments for imaging and spectroscopy applications

Reading List

1. M. Born & E. Wolf, "Principles of Optics".
2. J.W. Goodman, "Introduction to Fourier Optics".
3. G. P. Agrawal, "Fiber Optic Communication Systems".