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PX2013: LIGHT SCIENCE (2021-2022)

Last modified: 16 Aug 2021 13:43

Course Overview

For most of us, our perceptions are governed most strongly by our vision. We see because of light, but what is light? It’s been considered a particle, a wave, and in modern physics is somehow both. This course explores the fascinating physics of this phenomenon, at an elementary mathematical level suitable for non-science students. We’ll cover petrological microscopy, of interest to geologists, interference and diffraction, how colour works, see how polarisation can be applied in both scientific fields and every day life, and see how the photon can be used in devices in the increasing prevalent field known as photonics.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr R. F. Macpherson

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 2

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course aims to give a wide introduction to various fundamental topics in the science of Optics. The exploration of these fundamental topics goes beyond merely developing the appropriate theories by including study of the widespread applications of optical techniques and devices to science, industry and modern life.

Particular subjects given extensive treatment include: diffraction, interference and polaristation, the functions of lasers and photonic devices and the phenomena governing the behaviour of lens systems.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 10 - 19

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

5x Fortnightly assessed tutorials (20% each)

Alternative Resit Arrangements for students taking course in Academic Year 2020/21


Resubmission of failed elements (pass marks carried forward)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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