IPSA lectures

  Lectures in Optics

IPSA is an engineering college offering a 5 year graduate syllabus specializing in aeronautical and space systems. Students acquire wide knowledge in various scientific fields and a practical approach to engineering.

The objective of the training is to ensure the acquisition of knowledge essential to high-level expertise and validate the knowledge necessary to exercise diverse responsibilities as they emerge in a career. Based on a balance between teaching and project work (related to typical industrial issues), the IPSA curriculum includes a strong aerospace dimension from the start of training, evolving over the years.

From a physical point of view, geometric optics is an alternative approach to wave optics (often called physical optics) and quantum optics. It is on the other hand older, having been developed since antiquity. The notion of light ray, for example, was introduced by Euclid in the 4th century BC. Until the sixteenth century, Optics remained on the notion of light ray proposed by Euclid and only progresses empirically, allowing for example the appearance of first corrective lenses in 1285. Snell-Descartes laws are found by Snell in 1621 and then Descartes in 1637. The first experiment showing the limits of geometric optics was carried out by Grimaldi in 1665 which gives his name to diffraction. Wave optics will be highlighted only in the nineteenth century with the experience of the slits of Young and quantum optics only appeared during the twentieth century...


AERO 1 - General Physics - Geometric optics

Geometrical optics is a branch of optics that relies in particular on the model of the light ray. This simple approach allows geometric constructions of images that give it its name. Geometric optics is the most flexible and efficient tool for processing dioptric and catadioptric systems. It makes it possible to explain the formation of the images produced by these systems. The geometrical optics which is the first optical theory formulated is validated a posteriori by the wave optics, making the approximation that all the elements used are of large dimension before the wavelength of the light. In the debate surrounding the wave-corpuscle duality of light in the nineteenth century, geometric optics does not specify the nature of light since it is compatible with both approaches...

[ Download the complete document ]


AERO 2 - Wave physics - Wave optics

Wave optics is the discipline that studies light by considering it as an electromagnetic wave. Wave optics is more particularly concerned with phenomena affecting waves, such as interference and diffraction.

The light (to travel from one point to another) propagates with a determined speed. The light at a given point will be the coherent or incoherent addition of the electromagnetic field at this point at time t. This field is an undulatory effect: it means that light is a wave propagating with a certain speed. Numerous effects, different from geometric optics, are identified. For example, there are phenomena of interference and diffraction. They occur when the sources are coherent with one another: the simplest way to observe them is to use a single source, to separate it into two beams, and to bring them back to the same place...

[ Download the complete document ]