ELEC_ENG 379: Lasers and Coherent Optics

Quarter Offered

Fall : TuTh 12:30-1:50 ; Ho




CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Optical fields as a subset of electromagnetic fields, optical cavities, theory of laser action, and the basics of optical waveguides, including optical fiber.

RECOMMENDED TEXTS: Saleh & Teich, Fundamentals of Photonics, Wiley & Sons, 2nd edition, 2007 


COURSE GOALS: To introduce optics, lasers and optical waveguides. After taking this class, a student should understand the basics of optical fields including polarization, coherence, and behavior at dielectric interfaces. He or she should also understand the fundamentals of optical amplification, lasers, and optical waveguides.


  • Review of electromagnetic fields and waves.
  • Optical waves at dielectric boundaries: reflection and transmission
  • Gaussian Beams
  • Optical coatings for high or low reflectivity
  • Interference and optical resonators
  • Fundamentals of lasers
  • Dielectric waveguides, including optical fiber
  • Transmission effects of optical waveguides: loss and dispersion

COMPUTER USAGE: Use of MATLAB, EXCEL or other spreadsheet software.

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS: These will reinforce the concepts introduced in lecture.

LABORATORY: There will be approximately five hands-on laboratory projects.

BASIS for GRADE: Homework, laboratory write-ups, classroom exercises, one midterm test, and final exam.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: When a student completes this course, he or she should be able to:

  • Understand the basic properties of optical fields
  • Understand the fundamental principles of optical amplification and lasers
  • Understand and design basic optical dielectric waveguides
  • Take more advanced courses in fiber optic communication and optical signal processing.

ABET CONTENT CATEGORY: 100% Engineering (Design Component)