About this Course

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Advanced Level
Approx. 21 hours to complete
Subtitles: English
Shareable Certificate
Earn a Certificate upon completion
100% online
Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines
Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Advanced Level
Approx. 21 hours to complete
Subtitles: English

Offered by

University of Colorado Boulder logo

University of Colorado Boulder

Start working towards your Master's degree

This course is part of the 100% online Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from University of Colorado Boulder. If you are admitted to the full program, your courses count towards your degree learning.

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course


Week 1

5 hours to complete

Geometrical Optics for Gaussian Beams

5 hours to complete
12 videos (Total 80 min), 2 readings, 4 quizzes
12 videos
Light has a shape3m
The Gaussian beam11m
The Gaussian q parameter4m
The evolution of the q parameter10m
Gaussian Beam Propagation Lab Demo3m
Ray tracing Gaussian beams9m
Examples of ray tracing Gaussian beams7m
Do Gaussian beams obey imaging?8m
The Lagrange invariant4m
The post-doc's tale4m
Design of a fiber to fiber coupler7m
2 readings
Course overview5m
Tools and Resources10m
4 practice exercises
Gaussian Beam Practice Problems20m
Gaussian Beam OpticStudio Practice20m
Practice Problem15m
Gaussian Beams1h 45m

Week 2

4 hours to complete

Maxwell's Equations

4 hours to complete
8 videos (Total 51 min), 2 readings, 3 quizzes
8 videos
Lorentz oscillator10m
Wave equation3m
Plane waves4m
Spatial frequency9m
Spherical waves2m
Fresnel coefficients7m
Brewster's Angle Laboratory Demonstration5m
2 readings
Spatial Frequency Introduction10m
Polarization: Sunglasses and the Sky15m
3 practice exercises
Absorption Practice10m
Practice Problems20m
Maxwell's Equations2h

Week 3

3 hours to complete

Impulse Responses and Transfer Functions

3 hours to complete
10 videos (Total 61 min)
10 videos
Fourier Transform of the Gaussian Beam4m
The Airy disk6m
Cutoff Frequency5m
The coherent transfer function4m
The relation of impulse response and transfer function5m
Incoherent impulse response4m
Optical transfer function4m
Implementation in OpticStudio10m
2 practice exercises
Airy Disk OpticStudio Practice20m
Impulse Responses1h

Week 4

6 hours to complete

Finite Aperture Optics

6 hours to complete
11 videos (Total 90 min)
11 videos
Field stop and windows8m
Lyot stop6m
Stops Laboratory Demonstration4m
Effective NA and F#7m
Depth of focus9m
Telecentric imaging4m
Lagrange invariant8m
Example and Phase Space13m
2 practice exercises
Finite Aperture Practice30m
Fine Aperture Optics3h



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About the Optical Engineering Specialization

The courses in this specialization can also be taken for academic credit as ECEA 5600-5602, part of CU Boulder’s Master of Science in Electrical Engineering degree. Enroll here. Optical instruments are how we see the world, from corrective eyewear to medical endoscopes to cell phone cameras to orbiting telescopes. This course will teach you how to design such optical systems with simple graphical techniques, then transform those pencil and paper designs to include real optical components including lenses, diffraction gratings and prisms. You will learn how to enter these designs into an industry-standard design tool, OpticStudio by Zemax, to analyze and improve performance with powerful automatic optimization methods....
Optical Engineering

Frequently Asked Questions

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    • The course may offer 'Full Course, No Certificate' instead. This option lets you see all course materials, submit required assessments, and get a final grade. This also means that you will not be able to purchase a Certificate experience.
  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

  • If you subscribed, you get a 7-day free trial during which you can cancel at no penalty. After that, we don’t give refunds, but you can cancel your subscription at any time. See our full refund policy.

  • Yes, Coursera provides financial aid to learners who cannot afford the fee. Apply for it by clicking on the Financial Aid link beneath the "Enroll" button on the left. You'll be prompted to complete an application and will be notified if you are approved. You'll need to complete this step for each course in the Specialization, including the Capstone Project. Learn more.

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