Ultrafast Optics OpenCourseWare: MIT's Free Online Graduate Study Optics Engineering Course

Published Jan 14, 2009

RSS Feed

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers 'Ultrafast Optics' as OpenCourseWare. It was originally part of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science curricula. This free course examines the theory and application of ultrafast optics. Prior knowledge of basic optics or electromagnetism is helpful.

Ultrafast Optics: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Graduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

Ultrafast Optics: Course Description

Ultrafast optics is a sub-discipline of optical science. Specifically, ultrafast optics deals with optical pulses and phenomena that occur shorter than a few picoseconds (10^-12 seconds). Just to reinforce how small this is, one picosecond is one trillionth of a second (or 0.000000000001 seconds). How is such an unimaginably short pulse time possible? The answer is in the use of specialized lasers. These special lasers emit ultrafast recordable pulses. In this way, optical scientists can study processes that occur very quickly using the lasers as their 'clock'. Ultrafast optics has practical applications in fields, such as medicine, electronics and materials science. Specific topics for the 'Ultrafast Optics' OpenCourseWare include principles of lasers; characterization of pulses; applications to industry and research; pulse shaping processes (linear and non-linear); pulse compression; and application of, propagation of and generation of ultrashort pulses. Professor Franz Kärtner taught the original course in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science via lectures.

'Ultrafast Optics' OpenCourseWare contains some lecture notes, assignments (including the term paper assignment) and a reading list. If you're interested in learning more about this exciting and relatively new field, then visit the ultrafast optical science course page.

Featured School Choices: