Netherlands, Nijmegen

Optics and Lasers

when 1 August 2016 - 5 August 2016
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 ECTS
fee EUR 495

The course gives a solid introduction to fundamentals of optics and lasers and covers emission, amplification, transmission, detection and application of light in a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum: from the X-ray, over the visible, to the infrared and terahertz ranges. The course consists of three main parts: basics of wave optics, laser physics and free-electron lasers.

The first part embraces basic concepts and methods of optics such as wave–particle duality, interference, coherence, diffraction, optical beams and guiding/resonant systems.

The second part embraces basic laser physics and engineering aspects of lasers, as well as the design and operational principles of a wide range of laser systems. The lecture deals with the fundamentals of laser physics, control of laser oscillators, the characteristics of laser radiation and discusses individual types of lasers. The electro-optic part is devoted to fundamentals of non-linear optics, parametric processes and electro-optic and acousto-optic devices.

The third part concerns X-ray free-electron lasers (FELs), known as the fourth generation light source, is one of the most versatile sources of coherent tunable electromagnetic radiation enabling determination of the 3D structure of molecules and ‘atomic movie’. The third part of the course gives a solid overview of the physics of FELs and touches upon applications in biology and physics. We proceed from the basic theory of undulator radiation of relativistic electron bunches to advanced schemes of control of coherence in FELs with domination of phase space of electron bunches by means of external quantum lasers.

Much attention will be given to the development of problem solving skills to analyse optical phenomena in different physical systems such as coherence of light sources; propagation of Gaussian beams, guiding systems and resonators; analysis of amplification in active media and operation of lasers; characterisation of undulator radiation and performance of X-ray free electron lasers.

Lectures are followed by practical sessions during which the students will have to solve exercises, run simulations and discuss suggested scientific publications.

The practical work will be done individually and in mini-groups. To facilitate learning, there will be tours demonstrations and discussions in various laser Facilities within the Faculty, next to the Free-Electron Laser Facility

Course leader

Dr. F.J.M. Harren
Associate Professor
Institute of Molecules and Materials
Radboud University

Dr. V. Goryashko
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Uppsala University

Target group

This course is designed for Master and PhD students interested in modern optics and/or students that have to deal with lasers in their research.

Course aim

Learning outcome:
- Describe and compute the properties of wave optics such as coherence, diffraction, interference of light.
- Describe the physics of lasers and understand the various types of laser systems and non-linear systems.
- Describe and estimate characteristics of undulator radiation and the basic design of free-electron lasers.

Fee info

EUR 495: The course fee includes the registration fee, course materials, access to library and IT facilities, coffee/tea, lunch, and a number of social activities.

10% discount for early bird applicants. The early bird deadline is 1 April 2016.
15% discount for students and PhD candidates from Radboud University and partner universities.
EUR 195: Housing (optional)