At educating in optics it is possible to perform many interesting experiments enabling
students to understand individual fields of this physical branch. In this course basic experiments belonging to
the main regions of optics are presented. A detailed theoretical explanation is carried out for each
experiment demonstrated. The main aims of this course consist in explaining the principles and experimental demonstrations of the following optical effects:
1) interaction of light with the boundaries formed by planes (reflection of light from the boundary between two non-absorbing materials,
demonstration of the Brewster angle)
2) reflection of light from the boundary between one non-absorbing material and one absorbing material, impossibility of polarization of light using the reflection from this boundary
3) two-beam interference of light waves (Young experiment,
Fresnel two-prism, Fresnel mirrors)
4) multiple-beam interference of light waves (interference on thin films,
monochromatic interference filters in transmitted light, Fabry-Perot interferometer)
diffraction of light (diffraction on pinholes and the other objects exhibiting simple forms, diffraction of light on
various types of gratings)
6) practical use of an interaction of light with optically anisotropic
materials (prisms for polarization of light and compensators), interference in polarized light (presentation of this phenomena
at transmitting light by uni-axial plates placed between two polarizers).
After passing this course students will be able to explain the important optical effects using their experimental presentations. This statement is true for both the university a secondary school studies.
1) Theoretical explanation of an interaction of light with the planar boundaries placed between two isotropic homogeneous media
2) Experimental demonstration of polarization of light by reflection from the planar boundary between two non-absorbing media when the Brewster incidence angle is selected, demonstration of the impossibility of this polarization effect at reflecting light from the planar boundary between non-absorbing medium and absorbing medium
3) Theoretical explanation of
two-beam interference of light
4) Experimental demonstration of the Young experiment, Fresnel two-prism and Fresnel mirrors
5) Theoretical explanation of
multiple-beam interference of light
6) Experimental demonstration of interference of light on thin films, monochromatic Fabry-Perot interference filters in transmitted light and Fabry-Perot interferometer
7) Theoretical explanation of
diffraction of light using the simplest mathematical approach based on the Huygens principle
8) Experimental demonstration of diffraction on pinholes and the other objects with simple forms and various gratings)
9) Theoretical explanation of practical use of
interaction of light with optically anisotropic materials
10) Experimental demonstration of influence of prisms (polarizers) and compensators on polarization states of light waves, demonstration of interference of polarized light at transmitting through plates of uniaxial materials placed between two polarizers.
J. Kuběna, Úvod do optiky, Přírodovědecká fakulta Masarykovy univerzity, Brno, 1994
M. V. Klein, Optics, John Wiley and Sons, New York,, 1970
Lecture based on presenting experiments.
Language of instruction
The course is taught annually.
The course is taught: every week.