Optical engineering courses are available through degree programs in optical engineering, optical physics or a related field. Students learn about fiber optics used in communications, instrumentation, radar systems, laser devices and other areas. As students go over the different areas of optical engineering, they will recognize how these areas connect and lead to innovation breakthroughs. Courses may include independent or guided research projects in addition to lectures and labs.
In these courses, students gain an understanding of the following optical engineering topics:
- Lens and laser characteristics
- Engineering and science fundamentals
- Numerical, graphic, and textual data interpretation
- Experiment design protocols and implementation practices
- Collaboration tactics with professionals from other disciplines
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List of Common Courses
Introduction to Optical Technology Course
This course provides a foundation for understanding lens properties, laser characteristics, fiber optic capabilities and other aspects of optical communication and technology. Students study fundamentals of camera operation, wave interference and holography principles. They create basic image-forming lenses and mirrors. The tools acquired in this course will prepare students for more advanced optical engineering topics.
Designing Optical Systems Course
In this course, students apply their knowledge of optical technology to combine optical components into an advantageous system. From lasers to fiber optic elements, beam splitters, prisms and mirrors, students attempt to create devices that achieve useful application of light, as well as obtain research goals.
Geometrical Optics Course
This course provides an overview of geometrical optics consisting of prisms, spherical surfaces, lenses and mirrors. Students learn how to use these components within optical systems. Tools such as cameras, microscopes and telescopes are utilized. The course consists of a combination of hands-on application of these instruments and in-class lecture.
Physical Optics Course
Students observe the nature of polarization, interference and diffraction. Various properties of wave characteristics are examined, and the distinct differences between physical, wave-based and geometrical, ray-based optics are highlighted.
Fiber Optic Communications Course
Students investigate the transmission properties of optical fibers and the increased distances and bandwidths that they are able to achieve. Emphasis is placed on recognizing optical sources and detectors, as well as fiber cable design. Students investigate the overall process behind preparing and implementing communication networks based on fiber optic technology.