PHYS 545: Contemporary Optics

last updated: 3/19/2018

Winter Quarter, 2018

Section A: PCE Reg. #166920 (for PCE MS/GNM students), Section B: UW SLN 19356 (for students in other UW Colleges)

T-Th, 7:00-8:50 pm
A-110 Physics-Astronomy Building (PAB)
4 credits

R. Jeffrey Wilkes,
Professor Emeritus of Physics
Office: B-208A PAB (note: my office changed in 2017)
Phone: (206) 543-4232
Mailbox: in Physics Department office (C121 PAB)

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Thick lens: cardinal points

Check here frequently for news (items marked ). Click "ctrl-reload" to ensure you are not just viewing a cached copy of earlier web content!

CLASS IS ONLINE (optionally, in-person) every day when there is no lab, using the Zoom videoconferencing system provided by PCE. Click on "How to connect" link below.  Lab sessions are in-person only.
Slides will be posted on this website in the usual place. I will open the session at 6:45pm each night.
IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE CONNECTING, email me, (I will check email before and shortly after the start of class).  Zoom online sessions will be recorded, see below for links.

Physics MS students and GNMs: register through UW Extension, use Registration #166920. To get registration forms contact Program Coordinator Brian Cox <>,  206-616-5104.
Students in other UW graduate programs, or undergraduates (with prior permission of instructor): register through MyUW, SLN 19356.

Textbook: Pedrotti and Pedrotti, Introduction to Optics, 2007 (3rd) edition. (Older editions are OK, but homework questions and chapters are numbered differently).

After the first meeting, this will be a paperless course - no handouts. All needed materials will be posted here. Please print out and bring to class copies of lab handouts.

3/19/18: Course grades have been posted on Catalyst Gradebook.
It was fun working with you - enjoy your spring term classes!
Content on this website will remain available for several months.
  1. Course information
  2. Syllabus and calendar.
  3. How to connect to online sessions
  4. Lecture notes (will appear here before class - but possibly as late as 6:30 pm!)
  5. Lab handouts (will be posted 24 hr or more before each lab)
  6. Books on reserve 
  7. Suggested problem sets
  8. Programs for ray optics ; for instructions, click on 545programsREADME.html
  9.  Canvas course page - will not be used except for posting recordings and grades.
  10.   links to lecture recordings on course Canvas page  NOTE: due storage limit in Canvas, first few lecture recordings have been archived and deleted from Canvas. Contact me if you need the files.
    files will be posted 24 hr after class
  11. EXAM 1 solution sheet is posted in the problem set directory. Grades have been posted in Canvas gradebook.
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Fabry-Perot interferometer: performance vs reflectivity

In case of snow or other disruption, please check UW home page to see if UW is officially closed (extremely rare!). If not, class will be held as usual. If I cannot make it to campus I will send email well before class time; we can have an online-only session.

All documents linked on this page R. J. Wilkes, 2018.