PHY 300
Waves and Optics
Fall 2017
Meeting time and place: Instructor:


MoWe 2:30-3:50 P-113  
Lab-01:    Th 4:00-5:50 A-124  
Lab-02: Th 6:00-7:50 A-124  
Lab-03: We 4:00-5:50 A-124

Prof. Dominik Schneble A-106 Office hours: We 12:30-2
TA: Suko Kongtawong (Lab03)
A-129 Office hours: Tu 1-2  
TA: Brian Kaufman (Lab01,02)
A-129 Office hours: Mo 11-12



Free oscillations, driven oscillations and resonance, normal modes for discrete coupled oscillators and continuous media, traveling waves; Maxwell's equations and wave equation for light, polarization, reflection and refraction, coherence and interference, diffraction, ray optics, Gaussian beams.
Vibrations and Waves, by A.P. French (Norton)
Modern Optics, by G.R. Fowles (Dover)
Grading:   HW 20%, Midterm Exam 20%, Final Exam 30%, Laboratory work 30% (9 labs, see below)
Schedule and assignments
(subject to change, check web page regularly)
Wk   Lecture Lab* Homework*
1 Aug 28 [lecture 1]
Free oscillations
Aug 30 [lecture 2]

no lab - read lab introduction and lab rules

 HW01 [solns]
2 Sep  4 [no classes]
Sep 6 [lecture 3] no lab
3 Sep 11 [lecture 4]
Driven oscillations
Sep 13 [lecture 5]
(1) Resonance HW02 [solns]
4 Sep 18 [lecture 6]
Coupled oscillators
Sep 20 [lecture 7]
(2) Coupled oscillators HW03 [solns]
5 Sep 25 [lecture 8]
Sep 27 [lecture 9]
Continuous systems
(3) Speed of sound

6 Oct 2 [lecture 10]
Fourier transform
Oct 4 [lecture 11]
Wave properties of light
(4) Transmission line HW04 [solns]
7 Oct 9 [lecture 12]
Oct 11 [lecture 13]
makeup lab

practice midterm

8 Oct 16 [lecture 14]
Reflection and Refraction
Oct 18 Midterm exam no lab  
9 Oct 23 [lecture 15]
Oct 25  [lecture 16]
(5) Polarization

HW05 [solns]

10 Oct 30 [lecture 17]
Coherence and two-beam interference
Nov 1  [lecture 18]
Multiple-beam interference
(6) Michelson interferometer

11 Nov 6 [lecture 19]
Nov 8  [lecture 20]

(7) Fabry-Perot interferometer HW06 [solns]
12 Nov 13 [lecture 21]

Nov 15 [lecture 22]
(8) Diffraction
13 Nov 20 [lecture 23]
Ray optics
14 Nov 27 [lecture 24]   
Nov 29 [lecture 25]
Fourier optics

(9) Optical instruments

 HW07 [solns]

Dec 4  Gaussian beams

Dec 6

makeup lab
16 Dec 12 TUES  Final exam [5:30-8:00pm in ** P-113 ** ]

*Regulations for lab and homework

HOMEWORK: The homework will be collected in class on the due dates indicated, and it will be graded.  You may work together on solving the problems, but cannot hand in the same solutions - we will be on the watch for this kind of problem. Solutions will be posted after the homework is collected. Therefore, late papers will NOT be accepted.

LAB RULES: You will be required to perform the experiments described in the laboratory manuals (download above). Before you begin these you must present a writeup as you enter the lab. Nobody can perform an experiment without presenting the writeup FIRST. Your writeup should describe the physical ideas you plan to explore, the way you will go about exploring them, and your anticipated results. It need not be more than a page or two, but it is not length-limited either. Write it into your lab notebook and have the lab TA sign it. This writeup will not be graded but the TA's approval and signature are required BEFORE you can start on the experiment.

After you have completed your measurements, recorded in your lab books immediately following the writeup you have prepared before, you have to analyze your results and compare with the expectations in your writeup. The full lab report must be submitted to the TA on the 7th day after the lab, before the Physics Department office closes at 4:30 PM. That is, you have not much time to complete it, so you need to be well-prepared beforehand. The lab report will be graded on a scale from 0 to 10. Your grade does NOT depend on whether you got agreement of your results with the expectation, but only upon how well you perform your work.
The report that you submit must be your own work. Submission of (partially) identical or overly similar lab reports counts as cheating and results in zero points for the lab for all parties involved.

You have to complete AT LEAST eight of the nine labs scheduled for this semester. If you miss a lab you can make up for this on one of the two scheduled make-up dates. If you have one of the 9 labs missing at the end of the semester this will be graded as zero score. If you have more than one lab missing you will  FAIL the course no matter how well you perform in the other parts of this course.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Each student must pursue his or her academic goals honestly and be personally accountable for all submitted work. Representing another person's work as your own is always wrong. Faculty is required to report any suspected instances of academic dishonesty to the Academic Judiciary. Faculty in the Health Sciences Center (School of Health Technology & Management, Nursing, Social Welfare, Dental Medicine) and School of Medicine are required to follow their school-specific procedures. For more comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty please refer to the academic judiciary website at -- AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT: If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services, ECC (Educational Communications Center) Building, Room 128, (631)632-6748. They will determine with you what accommodations, if any, are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential. -- CRITICAL INCIDENT MANAGEMENT: Stony Brook University expects students to respect the rights, privileges, and property of other people. Faculty are required to report to the Office of University Community Standards any disruptive behavior that interrupts their ability to teach, compromises the safety of the learning environment, or inhibits students' ability to learn. Faculty in the HSC Schools and the School of Medicine are required to follow their school-specific procedures. Further information about most academic matters can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin, the Undergraduate Class Schedule, and the Faculty-Employee Handbook. -- ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION: Email to your University email account is an important way of communicating with you for this course. For most students the email address is ‘’, and the account can be accessed here: *It is your responsibility to read your email received at this account.* For instructions about how to verify your University email address see this: . You can set up email forwarding using instructions here: . If you choose to forward your University email to another account, we are not responsible for any undeliverable messages
last update 08/27/2017