Enroll in Rice University’s Physics 200-Level Waves and Optics Courses


Jason teaching in class.

Physics of Waves and Optics Specialization (3 Courses)

Through three online physics courses, explore foundational topics in waves and optics ranging from simple oscillators and waves on strings, to advanced diffraction effects of electromagnetic waves. With an entire semester of lectures and over 100 problems, this comprehensive specialization is similar in detail and rigor to what is taught in on-campus courses. It will thoroughly prepare learners for a career in optics or advanced studies 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:

  • Apply mathematical laws and conservation principles to describe wave propagation and light in the context of both geometrical and physical optics.
  • Solve physics problems with tools such as graphical analysis, algebra, vector analysis, and calculus.
  • Build a foundation that prepares them for studying advanced topics in physics.



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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. He returned to Rice in 2001 to join the faculty where his lab studies nanophotonics and interfacial biology. Hafner was named a Beckman Young Investigator 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.


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

Waves and Optics: Geometrical and Physical Optics

Physics of Waves and Optics: Geometrical and Physical Optics



Any questions? Please e-mail riceonline@rice.edu