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Advanced Optics


Admission Requirements



This course treats optics and atom-field interaction at a level appropriate to MSc students. It does so by combining a textbook with lecture notes and scientific papers and by stimulating prior reading and in-class discussions on the following topics:
1. Wave optics, including optical propagation, diffraction, interference, and the role of spatial and spectral coherence therein. This part also contains a lecture on optical imaging, and a lecture on near-field optics and optical dipoles.
2. Optical techniques such as reflectometry, spectroscopy, interferometry, diffractometry, scatterometry, polarimetry, imaging and microscopy.

Course Objectives

After completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Solve many problems in wave optics, nanophotonics, and atom-field interaction

  • Asess the pros and cons of existing and new optical techniques

  • Analyze scientific papers in optics and present the essence thereof to an audience

Transferable skills

The student will be able to:

  • master a new field of study in advanced optics within a given time period

  • present their findings to their fellow students in a convincing and inspiring way


Physics Schedule

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

Zie Brightspace

Assessment method

The grading of this course will be based on:

  • Student presentation during part 1 (20% of grade)

  • Student presentation during part 2 (20% of grade)

  • Oral exam (60% of grade)

Reading list

J. Peatross and M. Ware, ‘Physics of Light and Optics’, ISBN 9781611660920. Also available in cheaper black-and-white version and as free download:


As a student, you are responsible for registering for each course component. This can be done via Mystudymap. You do this twice a year: once for the courses you want to take in semester 1 and once for the courses you want to take in semester 2.

Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from July onwards; registration for courses in the second semester is possible from December onwards. For more information, see this page

Please note that it is mandatory for all students to register for their exams. This can be done up to and including 10 calendar days prior to the exam or up to five calendar days in case of a retake exam (retake registration opens 30 days before the retake takes place). You cannot participate in the exam or retake without a valid registration in My Studymap


Contactdetails Teacher: Prof.dr. M.van Exter (Martin)
Contactdetails Teacher: Prof.dr. M.Beijersbergen(Marco)