Pedagogical Objectives

The objectives are written in the students optics, which means that we are enumerating the cognitive capacities, the functional competences and the values and atitudes the student should develope during the teaching-learning process.

Describe concepts laws and phenomena in Optics and its applications

Perform searching processes on documentation, oriented for the planing and execution of experimental procedures in Optics and Optical aplications.

Execute experimental procedures in Optics and Optical aplications in the areas of Physics Biomedics, and Biophysics and teaching of Sciences. Handling with competence equipament and optical componentes. Elaborate Experimental reports.

Solve problems, using expressions, graphics and software, in the domain of Optics and Optical aplications

Develope, persistance, individual responsability and team cooperation in experimental activities.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Paulo António Martins Ferreira Ribeiro


Weekly - 4

Total - 42

Teaching language



There are no mandatory prerequisites, however it is suposed previous knoledge in:

  • Classical Mechanics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Mathematics:
    • Trigonometry
    • Diferenciation and Integration
    • Diferencial Equations
    • Complex Algebra



Óptica, Eugene Hecht- F.C.Gulbenkian, 1991.

Modern Optics, Robert Guenther- Wiley.

Principles of Optics, Max Born and Emil Wolf, Cambridge,1999

Optics, 4th Edition - Francis A. Jenkins and Harvey E. White, McGraw-Hill

Óptica e fotónica, Mário Ferreira - LIDEL

Optics, Eugene Hecht - Schaum’s outlines

Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Fishbane, Gasiorowicz and Thornton - 2nd Edition, Extended- Prentice Hall

Fundamentals of Physics, Halliday / Resnick / Walker -John Willey & Sons – 7th edition

Teaching method


Students are complied to enroll in the FCT Moodle e-learning platform through which the course will be managed. The platform will contain the learning units (AU ) of classroom lectures contents and documents preparation of experimental activities( AE ). A visit to the AE is mandatory and the tests of accreditation for trial lessons . The teaching- learning includes face moments and moments of e- Learning , including:

· Classroom Lectures
· Laboratory experimental Sessions
· Preparation of classes ( asynchronous component )
· Lessons-test ( asynchronous component )
· Two tests and a final exam

The methodology conforms generally a " Blended Learning " philosophy and seeks to quantify the work of students allowing the application of the " Bologna paradigm.

Classroom Lectures

The classroom lectures of two hours, are supported by video presentations and include demonstrations conduction and problem solving. A constructivist pedagogical perspective is embraced.

Lessons-tests ( asynchronous component )

The contents of lectures, organized in the form of Learning Units ( AU ) , are grouped into documents , available as asynchronous component . Each of these Learning Unit Theoretical ( Example : UA 2 - Electromagnetic Fields and Light ) ) has associated a self -assessment lesson-test to be carried out.

Experimental Sessions in Laboratory

The experimental sessions, of 1 hour, take place in a Optics Laboratory. Students enroll in groups o 3 in one of four classes available, using the CLIP and the "platform" for up to 18 students per class. Schedule and distribution map of the work by groups, are detailed in the " platform " . Each group performs 7 experimental activities from the following :

AE 0 - Measuring the Speed ​​of Light
AE 1 - wave phenomena in wave tank
AE 2 - Reflection and refraction . Mirrors lenses and diopters
AE 3 - Image formation
AE 4 - The Laser and fiber optics
AE 5 - Polarization of light and Mallus Law
AE 5 - Diffraction grating and applications
AE 7 - Interference and Diffraction . The Young Experiment
AE 8 - The human eye and vision
AE 9 - Optical Instruments
AE 10 - Modelling Optical Phenomena

Each group presents reports previously selected by the Teacher, which are placed in the platform after the respective experimental session to take place . These three reports will be all evaluated and the final mark attributed (NTE) will be average of the grades attained in each report. Students can be asked individually about planned activities in each session.

Preparation of Practical Classes (asynchronous component )

The experimental classroom sessions have to be individually prepared by students using UAs designated Experimental Activities - AEs in asynchronous component ( Example : AE1 - wave phenomena in wave tank ) . The AEs define objectives for the proposed activities and help the student to explore contents and orientate the preparation of the experimental activity. As searching through these documents, the student should consult all related topics (links) , taking notes of statements or expressions , or making copies in order to build your memorandum to assist the experimental activity.

Evaluation method

Assessment Methods

 Evaluation components:

Experimental - 1 element of evaluation

Theoretical-practical - 2 tests - 2 evaluation elements


Experimental component (frequency)

 The evaluation of the experimental component is based on weekly laboratorial sessions spread over 1 hour and the delivery reports of these activities.

 - Required Presence and execution of at least 4 experimental activities.

- Required delivery of 3 reports on experimental activities carried out (the out-of-the-lab computer simulation count as activity).

-The score per student for each work delivered, will be the rounded to the nearest tenth and will consider the individual performance on the activity (prior preparation, participation, execution, answers to questions)

- If necessary and applicable the teacher reserves the right to do an oral assessment.

- The individual experimental component score or frequency - will be the obtained from the individual scores gotten in the delivered work (and oral assessment if applicable).

 Obligation of score equal or higher than 9.5 to obtain frequency (rounded to the nearest tenth).

 Theoretical-practical component

 The evaluation of the theoretical-practical component results from the two tests, with 1,5 hours each booth performed over the semester.

 There is no mandatory minimum score for each test, but there is the condition for the arithmetic average of the tests scores to be greater or equal than 9.5 for approval in theoretical-practical component (each test is rounded to the nearest tenth before calculating the average, the average is rounded to the nearest tenth for the calculation of the final grade).

 Final grade:

 - If the student doesn’t obtain frequency, he fail the discipline, regardless of the marks obtained in the theoretical-practical component (test scores).

- It is necessary to obtain frequency to access the exam.

- The minimum exam score to get approved is 9.5 (rounded to the nearest tenth)

 - With frequency and approval in tests

→ Final Grade = 60% average of the tests (rounded to the nearest tenth) + 40% frequency grade (rounded to the nearest tenth)

 - With frequency and approval in exam

→ Final Grade = 60% exam grade (rounded to the nearest tenth) + 40% frequency grade (rounded to the nearest tenth)

 - The Minimum Score for Final Grade approval is 10 (rounded to the nearest unit)


Students with previous frequency should contact the teacher to confirm the frequency grade to be considered this year.

Subject matter


The contents taught in the classroom and developed in practical classes in experimental activities are as follows:

Chapter 1. Introduction to Optics: Historical introduction. Current socio-economic importance. The future.

Chapter 2. Geometric Optics: Huygens Principle. The ray of light. Principles of Geometric Optics, Fermat''s Principle. Reflection and refraction. Dispersion. Prism, parallel-sided blade and optical fibers. Image Formation. Flat, parabolic and spherical mirrors. Descartes oval and spherical diopter and slender lenses.

Chapter 3- Geometric Optics Complements: Lenses Association. Field of View and pupils. Optical Instruments (Eye, Magnifier Lens, Telescope, Microscope and Zoon lens). Optical fiber. Thick lenses. Freaks.

Chapter 4. Electromagnetic Field and Light: Light and Maxwell''s equations; Irradiance and Poyntig Vector. Polarization. The electromagnetic spectrum. Propagation. Fresnel Equations.

Chapter 5. Interference and Diffraction: Principle of superposition. Coherence. Young''s experiment. Interference in plates and thin films. Fresnel and Fraunhofer diffraction. Diffraction grating. Diffraction by circular opening. Simple slit diffraction. Multi-Slit Diffraction

Chapter 6. Radiometry and Photometry


Programs where the course is taught: