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SK2402 Fundamentals of Photonics 7.5 credits

The first  lecture is taking place on Monday, 31st of October at 3 pm in hybrid format:

  • online on zoom link HT2022
  • in room Albano Xenon, Albanovägen 29, floor 5, room 5230

Classes. The classes are given by Katia Gallo (KG) and Max Yan (MY). All course activities and teaching material will be available via zoom (link above, same as for the first lecture) & on canvas. Depending on the number of attendants, their wishes and room availability, we may run the classes in hybrid format - we shall decide together on the first lecture and you'll get an announcement prior to each class.

Labs. Besides classes on zoom, the course consists of a simulation lab on photonic crystals (MY) and an experimental lab on supercontinuum generation (Nonlinear Quantum Photonics lab assistants) on which you will get more detailed information from the lab instructors closer the time.

Exam. The examination consists of home assignments distributed during the course and an oral examination at the end of it (January 2023).

Choose semester and course offering

Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.


For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 28 Oct 2024 programme students

Application code


Headings with content from the Course syllabus SK2402 (Autumn 2023–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course covers the physical principles underlying the operation of basic photonic components such as lasers, modulators, optical fibers and detectors and involving the generation, transmission, manipulation and detection of light.

Specifically, the course covers the following topics:

  • Electromagnetic optics
  • Beam optics
  • Guided-wave optics
  • Coupled mode theory
  • Optics of periodic systems
  • Resonator optics
  • Acousto-optics
  • Electro-optics
  • Nonlinear optics
  • Ultrafast optics
  • Generation and detection of light

Intended learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student should be able to

  • explain the physical principles underlying the generation, transmission, manipulation and detection of light.
  • choose, derive and apply suitable models to predict and analyze the response of basic photonic components such as optical waveguides, resonators, modulators, frequency converters and switches, optical sources and detectors.
  • identify and critically discuss the limits of validity and applicability of the different models.
  • perform basic measurements through hands-on work in a photonic lab.
  • analyze and present data acquired using lab instruments and generated by simulations.
  • be able to solve with the necessary literature practical and theoretical problems within the field of photonics.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

At least 120 credits in engineering and natural sciences and knowledge of English B or equivalent.

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

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

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • INL1 - Assignments, 2.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • LAB1 - Laboratory work, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 4.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, 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.

The examiner, in consultation with the KTH Disability Coordinator (Funka), decides on any adapted examination for students with documented permanent impairment. The examiner may grant another examination form for reexamination of single students.

Other requirements for final grade

The course is examined through a review of written and oral presentation (TEN1; 4 credits, grading scale A/B/C/D/E/Fx/F), as well as approved assignments (INL1; 2.5 credits, grading scale P/F) and laboratories (LAB1; 1.0 credits, grading scale P/F). The grade on TEN1 determines the grade on the course.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination



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 room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

Engineering Physics

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Katia Gallo (