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 - 3

Total - 48

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 Topics (LT) of classroom lectures contents and documents preparation of pactical activities ( PA). A visit to the PAs learning units is mandatory. The teaching- learning includes face moments and moments of e- Learning , including:

Online theoretical lectures

Online practical sessions

Preparation of classes asynchronous component

Online lessons-test

Two tests and a final exam on person or online

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

Online theoretical lectures

The online lectures of two hours on Zoom platform are supported by presentations and include demonstrations conduction and problem solving. A constructivist pedagogical perspective is embraced.

Lessons-tests ( asynchronous component)

The contents of the theoretical classes comprise Learning Units (LU), which follow the recommended bibliography. Some Learning Units will have a mandatory multiple-choice self-assessment test lesson associated with them.

Online practical sessions

The experimental sessions, of 1 -2 hour, take place online. Students enroll in groups of 2-3 elements in one of four classes available, using the CLIP platform for up to 18-20 students per class. Schedule and distribution map of the work by groups, are detailed in the platform. Each group performs a set of practical activities from the following :

PA 1 – Image formation

PA 2 - Reflection and refraction: Mirrors lenses and diopters

PA 3 – Introduction do Ray Tracing Software: how to set a lens

PA 4 – Solving geometric optics issues with ray tracing software I: paraxial and seidel analysis; aberration plots (astigmatism, distortion &lateral colour)

PA 5 – Solving geometric optics issues : with ray tracing software II: ray fan related plots; setting up and analyzing tilts and decenters

PA 6 – Light interference

PA 7 – Diffraction by slits.

PA 8 – Diffraction grating and applications

TP- Thematic projects

Each group presents two integrated reports, of practical activities PA1 and PA2 and another of the practical activities PA6 to PA8, which are uploaded in the Moodle platform after the respective experimental session, take place. These activity reports will be all evaluated and the final mark attributed (CPA) will be average of the grades attained in each report. There may be an individual discussion with students about the activities planned for each session, as a result reports marks can reflect this issue. The thematic project activities will be carried out in the last 4 weeks of classes, the last one being dedicated to its presentation and discussion. The final classification of this evaluation element, CTP, will include the report of this activity and its presentation and discussion.

Preparation of practical classes

The practical online sessions have to be previously prepared by students using LUs designated Practical Activities (PAs) in asynchronous component (for example: AP1 –Image formation). The PAs define objectives for the proposed activities and help the student to explore contents and orientate the preparation of the practical 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 practical activity.

Evaluation method

Assessment Methods

Evaluation components:

Pactical – Pratical grade (2 evaluation elements)

Theoretical  - 2 tests (2 evaluation elements)

Note: The tests can be in person or online

Practical component

The evaluation of the experimental component is based on weekly laboratory sessions spread over 1 hour and the delivery of 2 reports of these activities.

- Required presence and execution of at least 4 practical activities including a  project with this last one compulsory

- Compulsory delivery of two reports of practical activities.

- The final practical mark, per student, for two activity reports submited, will be rounded up to tenth and will take into account the individual performance in the execution of the work during the class (prior preparation of the work by the student, participation and execution of the work, answers to questions asked by the teacher about the work in progress).

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

- The final mark of the practical component (PC) will be the average of the grades of the individual obtained in the practical activities reports (and of oral evaluation if applicable)

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

Theoretical 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).


The attendance to the course is acquired through the execution of all the online activities available and a minimum practical grade of 9.5.

Final grade:

 - If the student doesn’t obtain attendance, he fails the course, regardless of the marks obtained in the theoretical component (test scores).

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

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

- With attendance and approval in tests

- Final Grade = 60% average of the tests (rounded to the nearest tenth) + 40% practical (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)

-Grade above 16 values in any theoretical component requires defense in oral test


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: