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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Teaching of optics in the optics age
Author(s): A. S. Parasnis

Paper Abstract

The present Optics Age of science had not been foreseen by curriculum- makers in many countries. The result is that during the last 25 years when activity in science, engineering, technology and industry related to optics and lasers was exploding in the advanced countries optics was being de-emphasized in curricula in these countries. The consequence is that these countries including India have not played good enough a role. It is shown that the changes needed are more in attitude, pedagogic tools, terminology, and teaching methodology than in curricular contents. Examples: (1) The sequence of topics be changed, (2) The concept of coherence be introduced by considering thought experiments with different light sources; it is shown that the Michelson interferometer along with an HeNe laser can be used to introduce spatial as well as temporal coherence, (3) Modern terminology be used, (4) Crystal optics which is difficult be divorced from the concept of polarization which is simple; greater attention be paid to polarization helix than to polarization ellipse so that the confusion in 'handedness' is eliminated, (5) Group velocity be introduced as related to stationary phase approximation, (6) Modern terms like irradiance, temporal, spatial, frequency spectrum, spatial frequency, etc be used extensively, and so on.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 October 1995
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 2525, 1995 International Conference on Education in Optics, (13 October 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.224026
Show Author Affiliations
A. S. Parasnis, Indian Institute of Technology (India)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2525:
1995 International Conference on Education in Optics
M. J. Soileau, Editor(s)

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