Oscillations, Waves and Optics (F3215)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

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


50%: Lecture
25%: Practical (Workshop)
25%: Seminar (Class)


20%: Coursework (Problem Set)
80%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 44 hours of contact time and 106 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.