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PHY2410 – Oscillations, Waves & Optics

Oscillatory phenomena appear in all areas of physics, both classical and quantum (to the point where a famous textbook begins by saying that the domain of physics is all phenomena that can be reduced to coupled oscillators). The methods used to study oscillatory motion are powerful and wide-ranging in their utility.

Recommended course content: The harmonic oscillator. Coupled oscillators. Oscillations of a string and of a circular drum-skin. Sounds waves in solids, liquids, and gases. Torsional oscillations. Doppler effect for sound waves. Wave-fronts and rays. Beats. Phase and group velocities. Pulses and wave packets. Dispersion relations. Waves in dispersive systems. Electromagnetic waves in vacuum, dielectric media, conductors, and plasmas. Doppler effect for light. Fresnel’s laws of reflection and refraction. Classical optics: interference, and Fraunhofer and Fresnel diffraction. Lasers. Optical devices: prisms; lenses; mirrors; telescopes; microscopes; diffraction gratings.

Pre-requisites: Classical Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism in Light of Relativity.

Taught at the level of: Waves (F S Crawford), Introduction to Electrodynamics (D J Griffiths).

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka