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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Education in applied and instrumental optics at the University of Helsinki
Author(s): Folke Stenman

Paper Abstract

The teaching of applied and instrumental optics at the University of Helsinki Department of Physics originally grew out of the needs of the research group of molecular physics as a basis for the experimental work in the group. The training program starts with a one-year course for senior undergraduates and graduates comprising geometrical optics, eikonal theory, image forming components, matrix methods, optical instruments, the optics of laser beams, radiometry and photometry, ray tracing methods, optics of anisotropic media, diffraction theory, general image formation theory and Fourier optics. The course starts from fundamentals, but the mathematical level is kept adequate for serious work. Further applications are treated in courses on molecular spectroscopy, where ruled and holographic diffraction gratings (both plane and spherical), interferometric spectroscopy and imaging properties of spectral equipment are treated. Aspects of image analysis, information in optics, signal-to-noise ratio, etc. are treated in separate courses on Fourier method and digital spectral analysis. The applicability of optical techniques to various fields of physics and engineering and the analogies with them are especially brought out. Experimental and calculational and skills are stressed throughout. Computer programming is introduced as an indispensable tool for the optics practitioner, and the students are required to write programs of their own. The students gain practical experience, e.g., by working in the molecular physics group. Close cooperation is maintained with other research groups in laser physics, ultrasonics and physical chemistry. The training in optics has proved very useful, with students frequently ending up working in the industry on optics and spectroscopy problems. Parts of these courses have also been given at other universities and to engineers and scientists working in the industry.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 December 1997
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3190, Fifth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics, (8 December 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.294408
Show Author Affiliations
Folke Stenman, Univ. of Helsinki (Finland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3190:
Fifth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics
Christiaan H. F. Velzel, Editor(s)

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