Physics topics


by Dr. J. B. Tatum
jtatum@uvic.ca



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Physical Optics (last updated: 2018 June 5)


Since I put a few notes on Geometric Optics on this site, from time to time viewers have written to me asking if I am going to write some notes on Physical Optics. The answer has always been that I was not planning to. However I have scribbled one or two notes on isolated and random topics, and I present them here. I am nowhere close to getting together a full course on Physics Optics, so for the time being I give some notes on the following random small topics. Any further topics may appear if and when the spirit moves me, at a rate of maybe one new topic every few years. I hope the following are of some interest.

Reflection and refraction from the point of view of Fermat's Principle and Huygens' Construction.

Reflection and transmission at a boundary, and the Fresnel Equations.

The Cornu Spiral.

The Stokes Parameters for describing polarized light.

I had thought of including a set of notes on photometric quantities, but I think these are adequately covered in my notes on Stellar Atmospheres so I don’t repeat them here.




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