ECE 198 DL1 - In a New Light: Hands-on Optic

Spring 2013

In a New Light: Hands-on OpticECE198DL159234LEC31300 - 1350 M W  241 Everitt Laboratory Daniel M Wasserman

Official Description

Lectures and discussions relating to new areas of interest. Course Information: May be repeated in the same or separate terms for unlimited hours if topics vary. See class schedule for topics and prerequisites.

Section Description

Topic: In a New Light: Hands-on Optics for Non-Scientists. Prerequisites: Reasonable proficiency in high-school level math (algebra, pre-calc, trig.) This course is designed to introduce non-science majors to major concepts in optical engineering in a hands-on, lab-centered, manner. Labs will cover optical communication, nanotechnology, imaging, lighting, and lasers, and will be buttressed by 2 hours of supplementary lecture. In addition to technical aspects of optical engineering, the public policy, environmental, medical and health, and defense and security implications of this technology wil also be discussed. Students will also be exposed to cutting edge research ongoing at UIUC via lab tours and guest lectures.

Course Director

Course Goals

?In a New Light? is a hands-on, lab-centered course designed to expose non-science majors to a vibrant field of engineering. The labs will focus on major fields of optical engineering, such as optical communication, nanotechnology, imaging, lighting, and lasers, and will be buttressed by 2 hours of supplementary lecture each week. Students will be introduced to major technical aspects of optical engineering, as well as the public policy, environmental, medical and health, and defense and security implications of this technology. In addition, students will be exposed to UIUC?s storied history in optics and optical engineering, as well as current state-of-the-art research at UIUC, via a series of lab tours and guest lectures from UIUC faculty. The purpose of this course is to introduce non-science majors to fundamental concepts in optical engineering in a hands-on, lab-centered, manner. More importantly, however, the course is designed to help non-scientists understand the scientific process: how scientists think, how scientists perform their work, how they analyze their results, and how these results are presented to, and analyzed by, the larger public. Optical engineering is used as the vehicle to convey these primary concepts. This course is in the process of gaining approval to fulfill the Natural Science and Technology General Education Credit, and has been approved for a University Discovery Course for Fall 2013. In the Spring of 2013, the course will be open, as a beta version, to all students, both science and non-science. In the following semester (Fall 2013), the course will run two sections, one for the College Honors Program students, the second serving as the Discovery Course section.

Instructional Objectives

Describing Light : Students should have a conceptual understanding of the various ways light can be described: ray optics, wave optics, electromagnetic wave optics, and photon optics. Students should understand when and why each of the above theories is used, and should be able to describe and explain the key historical experiments in the history of Optics.

• Ray Optics: Postulates of Ray Optics, Fermat’s Principle, reflection, refraction, diverging, converging, and collimated light, and basic imaging, as well as the failure of Ray Optics. (a, h)

• Waves and Wave Optics: The wave equation, and wavefunctions. Transverse and longitudinal waves. How to describe a harmonic wave in terms of frequency, period, amplitude, phase, wavevector or wavenumber, wavelength, and wave velocity. The superposition principle, wave pulses, wave interference including double-slit interference and single slit diffraction, standing waves. Students should be familiar with the electromagnetic spectrum, and the difference between monochromatic and broadband light sources. Students should understand the significance of the Michelson-Morley experiment, the concept of the Aether, and Maxwell’s Equations. Students should understand that EM waves are self-propagating, and do not require a medium, but carry energy in their electric and magnetic fields. (a,h)

• Photon Optics: Students should understand the failure of EM/Wave optics and in what situations photon optics is required to describe the behavior of light. Students should understand the photoelectric effect, and the concept of a “quanta” of light and it’s relation to the frequency of light. Students should understand the significance of probability distributions, wave-particle duality, and the double-slit interference experiment at low (1 photon at a time) light levels. (a,h, j, l)

Understanding and Describing Matter: Students should gain an understanding of basic materials science, quantum mechanics, and nanotechnology.

• Matter: Students should understand the difference between atoms and ions, molecules, polymers and crystals. They should be able to describe the energy states in each of the above forms of matter. They should understand the implications of particles as waves and the implications of matter waves for crystalline solids. They should understand the difference in macroscopic behavior and microscopic structure of conductors, insulators and semiconductors, and should be able to explain the process, and results, of quantum confinement. (a,h)

Light Matter Interaction: Students’ understanding of matter will serve as a basis for understanding light-matter interaction and optoelectronic devices such as LEDs, lasers, solar cells, and photodetectors.

• Light/Matter Interaction: Absorption and emission, including the difference between spontaneous and stimulated emission. Photodetectors, light-emitting diodes, and lasers. Interaction of light with bound and free electrons, the Drude model, and the concept of permittivity. (a, h)

Applications: Students will use the knowledge gained to this point in the course to understand the optical and opto-electronic underpinnings of a wide range of modern technologies.

• Optical Communication: Fibers and fiber optics, VCSELs and high-speed photodetectors, amplifiers, time- and frequency domain multiplexing, dispersion in fibers, and eye-diagrams. Students should understand the basic forms of communication networks, and should be exposed to the concept of quantum communication. (h, i, j)

• In the final weeks of the course, following the second mid-term students will learn about:

• Special Topics in Engineering: The students will be exposed to specific areas of optical engineering, either by means of lectures from the course instructor, or preferably from researchers (faculty, research professors, or post-docs and graduate students) on the UIUC campus involved in cutting edge optics research. These topics could include, but are not limited to: metamaterials and plasmonics, medical optics and biophotonics, new sources of light suchs as plasmonics lasers, quantum cascade lasers and single photon sources, light for energy applications such as solar power and solid state lighting. (j)

• The students’ final project will be in the form of individual presentations made to the class, focused on a current exciting field of optics research. (g,h,j,k,m)

Laboratory Experience

• Students will learn how to set up an experiment and collect meaningful results from their set-up. (b,c,d,e)

• Students should be familiar with the process of experimental data collection, and the proper recording and maintenance of data in laboratory notebooks. (b,d,e)

• Students should be able to analyze data, explaining whether the data supports or disproves an initial hypothesis, and should have an understanding of the role of uncertainty in science. (b, d, k, l, m)

•Programming: Students will be familiar in the basics of the graphical programming language Labview. (c)

• Students should be exposed to, and gain experience with, different forms of technical communication, including: oral presentations, product brochures, academic manuscripts or journal articles, technical journalism, and position papers. (d,g,h,i,j,k)

Last updated

5/22/2013by Daniel M. Wasserman