PHY 307A Modern Optics
Possible topics for term papers
Blue: numerical, Black: theoretical
All work to be done individually.
1. Diffraction – from an aperture of your choice – to be worked out, numerically programmed
and intensity pattern generated from the numerical program. Then add features to account for
2. Sub-wavelength diffraction and its use in imaging.
3. Non-diffracting waves – one solution to be stated and analyzed numerically.
4. Interference-based notch filter – work out the reflectance and transmittance through a
numerical method – transfer matrix method will be sufficient.
5. Light propagation through apertures smaller than its wavelength – analysis.
6. Population inversion is an essential condition for lasing action. If so, what is “Lasing without
inversion”? – analyze.
7. Lasing requires an active medium and appropriate energy levels and decay times for the levels.
Then, what is “Lasing in air”? – analyze.
8. Every laser has a threshold since spontaneous emission is the precursor to lasing action. If so,
what is “Threshold-less lasing action”? – analyze.
9. A laser is “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. What is its inverse?
coherent absorber or anti-laser? Analyze feasibility, testing methods…
10. Smallest possible coherent source – nano or pico? Why? Analyze.
11. Metals – extent of enhancement of light possible with Plasmonics
12. Negative refraction – analyze conditions, choose parameters….
13. Non-destructive structural stress analysis (such as for bridges, fly-overs, or aircraft) using light.
14. Diffraction pattern from 3D slit (two straight edges in two nearby parallel planes, kept
at some separation along the direction of propagation)
15. Diffraction limit and role of nanophotonics
16. Plasmonics – a sub-topic of relevance such as a plasmonic sensor
17. Periodic structures in optics (analyze similarities/differences).
Term paper submission: pdf file only. Max: 6000 words (figures extra). It will be good
to use the format used in journals such as the Universal template, downloadable from:
Term papers will be tested for plagiarism. Any plagiarism charge will fetch zero marks.
Such a cheap price for your free time and healthy sleep
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