Laboratory Course in Optics

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


The course objective is to make the student familiar with both historically important optical experiments and modern optical instruments and methods. The student will also have the opportunity to learn how to use and calibrate optical measuring equipment and identify sources of error and uncertainty in practical work. In addition, the student will learn to present experimental results in the form of a scientific report, both written and oral.


This course gives a practical introduction to the field of optics. Laboratory exercises are in focus, however there might also be an opportunity for field work. The following topics are addressed: Polarization, diffraction, interference, spatial filtering, scattering and absorption of light from particles in water and air.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student can

  • understand the physics principles behind the experiments.
  • identify errors in the experiments.
  • understand the functions of components used in the experiments.


The student can

  • use basic optical equipment in the laboratory to carry our experiments
  • write scientific reports that in a clear way presents the experimental work
  • give an oral presentation of the experimental work

General competence

The student can

  • explain the theoretical and practical limitations of laboratory experiments
  • assess the quality of their own results based on critical thinking

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
FYS264: 6 studiepoeng
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures and laboratorywork
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
  • Compulsory attendance in all laboratory excercises
  • Lab report. Compulsory assignments are valid in 2 subsequent semesters.
  • Compulsory assignment (presentation) is valid for 2 subsequent semesters.
  • Forms of Assessment
    The forms of assessment are:
    • Reports , 50% of total grade.
    • Presentation (20 min), 10% of total grade.
    • Oral examination (45 mins), 40% of total grade.
    Grading Scale
    The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.
    Reading List
    The reading list will be ready before June 1st for the autumn semester and December 1st for the spring semester. 
    Examination Support Material
    Programme Committee
    The Programme committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.
    Course Administrator
    The Department of Physics and technology has the administrative responsibility for the course.