PHS3051 - Photon physics - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Physics and Astronomy


Dr Russell Anderson

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


This unit consists of laboratory work and three 8-lecture sub-units:

  1. Photonics: lasers and coherent light, modulation devices, optical waveguides, interference and holography, fibre optic communications, transmission and coupling to hardware and software devices, applications.
  2. Synchrotron Physics: Emission of radiation from relativistic charges in particle accelerators, synchrotron radiation from bending magnets and insertion devices, imaging techniques unique to synchrotrons.
  3. Optics: wave propagation and image formation, plane waves, diffraction, angular spectrum, phase contrast, interferometry, holography, focused fields and the singularity hierarchy.
  4. Laboratory work: experimental laboratory work on relevant topics.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe concepts and perform calculations in Synchrotron Physics, which include the production of synchrotron radiation and x-ray optics, and its application to spectroscopy, imaging, scattering and crystallography.
  2. Describe concepts and perform calculations in Optics, which include vacuum wave equations for the electromagnetic field, Fourier optics, holography, Fresnel and Fraunhofer diffraction.
  3. Describe concepts and perform calculations in Photonics, which include integrated photonics, detectors, waveguides and non-linear optics, with applications to optical communications.
  4. Perform measurements and analysis on experiments that demonstrate the theoretical physics described in this and other physics units.5. Produce experimental reports that present results, analyse and discuss the implications and outcomes of experimental work.


Examination (3 hours): 46% + Laboratory work: 34% + Assignments: 20% + Hurdle requirement: Students must achieve a pass mark in the practical component to achieve an overall pass grade.

Workload requirements

  • Two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour tutorial per week
  • An average of two hours in the laboratory per week
  • Seven hours of independent study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


One of PHS2011 or PHS2061; and

one of PHS2022 or PHS2062; and

one of MTH2010 or MTH2015 or ENG2005; and

one of MTH2032 or MTH2040.

Recommended: PHS2081