Physics 134 — Optics Laboratory

A laboratory-lecture course on the techniques and theory of classical and modern optics. Topics of study include diffraction, interferometry, Fourier transform spectroscopy, grating spectroscopy, lasers, and coherence of waves. In addition, the course develops the theory of sample variance, nonlinear least-squares fitting, the \( \chi^2 \) criterion for goodness of fit, and normalized residuals. The course is more loosely structured than earlier laboratory courses, and seeks to develop skills in experimental design and execution with flexible, multi-part experiments. The available experiments are

  1. Fraunhofer and Fresnel diffraction
  2. grating spectroscopy of mercury, hydrogen/deuterium, and solar absorption lines
  3. scanning Fabry-Perot interferometry of a He-Ne laser, including the Lamb dip and the Zeeman effect
  4. white light fringes, the He-Ne wavelength, and the refractive index of air are measured with a Michelson interferometer
  5. Fourier transform spectroscopy of the sodium doublet and a pressure-broadened mercury lamp
  6. quantum optics
  7. thin lenses and geometric optics
  8. Fresnel coefficients for the reflection of light


    Meetings, Fall 2017