Physics and astronomy

Oscillations, Waves and Optics

Module code: F3215
Level 4
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Class, Workshop, Lecture
Assessment modes: Coursework, Unseen examination

This module covers:

  • Simple harmonic motion
  • Forced oscillations and resonance
  • Mechanical waves
  • Properties of sound
  • Phasors
  • Coupled oscillators and normal modes
  • Geometrical optics to the level of simple optical systems
  • Huygens' principle, introduction to wave optics
  • Interference and diffraction at single and multiple apertures
  • Dispersion
  • Detectors
  • Optical cavities and laser action
  • Practical introduction to the use of telescopes.

Module learning outcomes

  • Analyse oscillations and waves mathematically.
  • Solve simple problems of geometric optics.
  • Predict diffraction and interference patterns.
  • Operate small telescopes and record images.