Continue Learning Physics with Course 3: Geometrical and Physical Optics


Jason teaching in class.

Physics of Waves and Optics: Geometrical and Physical Optics (Course 3)

The third course in the Physics of Waves and Optics specialization, Geometrical and Physical Optics is an introduction to the mathematical laws and conservation principles that describe wave propagation and light in the context of geometrical and physical optics. Topics covered include the Lens Equation, Image Formation, Interference, and Diffraction. Inside each module, learners have access to complete video lectures, conceptual quizzes, and practice problems. This comprehensive course is similar in detail and rigor to those taught on-campus at Rice. It will thoroughly prepare learners for their upcoming introductory physics courses or more advanced courses in physics.

Who should attend:

  • University students looking to supplement their current physics courses with more physics practice problems and explanations.
  • University students who have completed their first year of university-level physics and plan to take more advanced physics courses.
  • People with a strong mathematical background who have an interest in general physics or the field of optics.

You will be able to:

  • Solve complex mathematical problems related to optical interference, diffraction, and optical devices including thin film interference, multibeam interference, lenses, and image formation.
  • Evaluate real-world data regarding optical devices.
  • Build a foundation that prepares them for studying advanced topics in physics.



Image of professor Jason Hafner

Professor Jason Hafner

Jason Hafner earned his Ph.D. from Rice University in 1998 under Richard Smalley for work on carbon nanotubes, and pursued postdoctoral studies at Harvard University with Charles Lieber. He returned to Rice in 2001 to join the faculty where his lab studies nanophotonics and interfacial biology. Hafner was named a Beckman Young Investigtor in 2002, and won the Norman Hackerman Award for Chemical Research from the Welch Foundation in 2011. He is currently a Professor of Physics and Astronomy and of Chemistry. Hafner is a Member of Scientia at Rice and has served as an Associate Editor for ACS Nano from 2010 - 2017. He has taught freshman and sophomore physics for the past nine years, and is a member of Rice's Center for Teaching Excellence.


Waves and Optics Specialization (3 Courses)

Physics of Waves and Optics Specialization (3 Courses)

Waves and Optics: Oscillators and Waves

Physics of Waves and Optics: Oscillators and Waves

Waves and Optics: Light and Materials

Physics of Waves and Optics: Light and Materials



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