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FSK3340 Fourier Optics 6.0 credits

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus FSK3340 (Spring 2019–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

  • Analysis of two-dimensional signals and systems
  • Foundations of scalar diffraction theory
  • Fresnel and Fraunhofer diffraction
  • Frequency analysis of optical imaging systems
  • Numerical methods for wave-field propagation

Intended learning outcomes

The overall aim of the course is that you should be able to analyze optical problems with the help of the approximations made in Fourier optics and develop simple numerical simulations for your systems.
This means that you should be able to:

  • Describe the mathematical characteristics of the two dimensional Fourier transform and explain their relevance for the analysis of linear optical systems
  • Explain the basics of scalar diffraction theory
  • Analyze different solution methods for the Helmholtz equation
  • Apply the Fresnel and Fraunhofer approximation to calculate the diffraction patterns of standard optical components
  • Reflect on the physical implications of diffraction and their influence on the resolution in optical imaging systems
  • Develop and implement algorithms for numerical wavefield propagation

Course disposition

5 meetings, 5 computer labs

Language of instruction: English

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Admitted to PhD studies in Physics, Biological Physics, or related fields of study.

Recommended prerequisites

Knowledge of the physics of electromagnetic radiation corresponding to SK2110 (Waves, 6 hp) and in basic mathematics (vector analysis, integrals, differential equations) is very important. Moreover, knowledge in optics corresponding to SK2300 (Optical physics, 6 hp) is of advantage, but not mandatory. Basic knowledge of programming in MATLAB is highly recommended, but may be acquired during the course.


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Joseph W. Goodman, Introduction to Fourier Optics, Third edition (2005), Roberts and Company publishers.

One of the best books in optical physics, suitable both for self-study and reference.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • PRO1 - Project work, 6.0 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

PRO1 – project presentation, 6,0 hp, grading: P/F

Other requirements for final grade

To pass the course you have to work on a project (simulation of an optical system based on Fourier optics) and present the results at a seminar.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Sergei Popov

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FSK3340

Offered by

SCI/Applied Physics

Main field of study

No information inserted

Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

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Sergei Popov

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at SCI/Applied Physics