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

Pedro Manuel Cardoso Vieira


Weekly - 4

Total - 70

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 must register on the FCT Moodle Platform through which the discipline will be managed. On the platform will be placed the syllabus contents of the online theoretical classes and the documents for the preparation of practical activities (AP). The visit to the AP documents is mandatory as well as the experimental execution.:

Theoretical classes - face-to-face

Practical classes - face-to-face

Preparation of practical classes

Two face-to-face tests and appeal exam.


Online theoretical lectures

Theoretical classes last 2 hours, and include demonstrations and problems. When possible, an attempt will be made to adopt a constructivist pedagogical perspective.

The contents of the theoretical classes conform to Topic Units (UT), 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 2-hour face-to-face experimental sessions. Students enroll in one of the classes proposed on the CLIP platform and the “platform” up to a limit of 18-20 students per class. They also enroll in one of the groups of the chosen class up to the limit of 2-3 students per group, using the “platform”. The map and schedule for the distribution of works by groups are detailed in the Information and Announcements area of ​​the platform. Each group performs one of the following practical activities:

TE1 - Image formation

TE2 - Reflection and refraction. Mirrors, diopters and lenses

TE3 - Optical Instruments

TE4 - Diffraction grating

TE5 - Polarization and Malus'' Law

TE6 - Wave phenomena

EN –Thematic projects

Of the practical activities carried out, each group summarizes reports for all activities, which are placed on the Moodle platform after being executed. These reports are ranked and their average is the group CAP score. There may also be an individual discussion with the students about the activities planned for each session, and the classifications of the activity reports will reflect this aspect as well. The thematic project activities will be carried out throughout the semester, the last of which will be dedicated to its presentation and discussion. The final classification of this evaluation element, CPT, will include the report of this activity and its presentation and discussion.

Preparation of practical classes

The laboratory sessions are prepared individually by the students using TE documents designated by Experimental Works - TEs. The TEs define objectives for the proposed activities and help to explore the contents. When going through these documents, the student must consult all the related topics (links), taking notes of statements or expressions, or making copies, in order to build his auxiliary memorandum for the practical activity to be carried out.

Evaluation method

Assessment Methods

Evaluation components:

Online Activities – (Reports and thematic project)

Pactical – Pratical grade (3 evaluation elements)

Theoretical  - 2 tests (2 evaluation elements)


Practical component

The evaluation of the experimental component is based on weekly laboratorial sessions spread over 1-2 hours according with graduation course and the delivery 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 reports for the practical activities, plus an integrated report of one thematic project.

- The final practical mark, per student, for each activity work delivered, 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 classification of the practical component (PC) will be the weighted average of the grades of the individual obtained in the practical activities AP1, AP2, AP6, AP7 and AP8 (and of oral evaluation if applicable), PAC, and the grade obtained in the project TP, TPC, in the following proportion:

PC = 0.4.PAC + 0.6TPC

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: