classical optics

Advanced Classical Optics: notes now available on amazon

April 17, 2019 math and physics play No comments , , ,

My notes (382 pages, 6″x9″) from the fall 2012 session of the University of Toronto Advanced Classical Optics course (PHY485H1F), taught by Prof. Joseph H. Thywissen, which I took as a non-degree student, are now available on (through kindle-direct-publishing, formerly createspace).

These notes are available in three forms, two free, and one paper:

  • On amazon (kindle-direct-publishing) for $11 USD,
  • As a free PDF,
  • As latex sources (, makefiles, figures, …) to build/modify yourself.

The official course description at the time was:

This course builds on a student’s knowledge of basic electromagnetic theory by focusing attention on light including elementary aspects of the propagation of optical beams and their interaction with matter. We examine light polarization, coherence, interference and diffraction as we move towards a description of lasers within a semiclassical picture in which the fields are treated classically and matter is treated quantum mechanically. In between we discuss Gaussian beam modes and their relation to optical resonators as well as fibre and slab waveguides

This bookish collection of notes is dedicated to my mom.


classical optics notes.

February 15, 2019 math and physics play No comments , , ,

Here’s an update of my old classical optics notes.  Along with a link to the notes, are instructions on building the PDF from the latex and the github clone commands required to make a copy of those sources.  Mathematica notebooks are also available for some of the calculations and plots.

Looks like most of the figures were hand drawn, but that was the only practical option, as this class was very visual.