SK3340 Fourier Optics 6.0 credits


  • Education cycle

    Third cycle
  • Main field of study

  • Grading scale

Information for research students about course offerings

The course is offeredatthe sametime as theSK2340.

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 main content

  • 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


5 meetings, 5 computer labs

Language of instruction: English


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.


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.


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

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.

Offered by

SCI/Applied Physics


Ulrich Vogt,


Ulrich Vogt <>


Course syllabus valid from: Spring 2016.