PHYSICS 7010 - Non-Linear Optics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021

A review of laser physics and an introduction to non-linear optical phenomena with applications. Laser physics content: optical amplification, gain saturation, laser threshold and efficiency, spatial and spectral mode control, CW and pulsed lasers, including Q-switching, cavity dumping and mode locking. Nonlinear optics content: chi-2 processes, three-wave mixing and phase matching, SHG, SFG, DFG, OPA, OPO; Pockels effect; chi-3 processes, third-harmonic generation, optical Keff effect; Inelastic scattering, stimulated Raman scattering, stimulated Brillouin scattering; nonlinear interaction of light and atoms.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHYSICS 7010
    Course Non-Linear Optics
    Coordinating Unit School of Physical Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Peter Veitch

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    A successful student should be able to:

    1. demonstrate a detailed physical and mathematical understanding of a variety of systems and processes in a range of advanced topics in physics;
    2. apply the concepts and theories of a range of advanced topics in physics;
    3. demonstrate specialised analytical skills and techniques necessary to carry out advanced calculations in a range of advanced topics in physics;
    4. approach and solve new problems in a range of advanced topics in physics;
    5. demonstrate an understanding of the close relationship between scientific research and the development of new knowledge in a global context;
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources
    • Milonni, P. and J. Eberly: Lasers, John Wiley & Sons, 1988
    • Ghatak A.K. and K. Thyagarajan: Optical Electronics, Cambridge 1989
    • Yariv, A.: Optical Electronics, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 4th edition, 1991
    • Boyd, R.: Nonlinear Optics, Academic Press, 2003.
    • Butcher, P.N. and D. Cotter: The Elements of Nonlinear Optics, Cambridge 1990
    • Agrawal, G.P.: Nonlinear Fiber Optics, Academic Press 2001
    Online Learning

    MyUni: Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course is delivered by the following means:

    • Practicals 12 x 2-hour sessions with 1 sessions per week

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).

    Learning Activities Summary
    The course content will include the following:
    Coursework Content

    • Introduction: Overview and review of nonlinear optics.
    • Wave equation description of NLO: Second Harmonic Generation, phase matching,
    • Second, Third and higher order
    • Intensity dependent index of refraction, general tensor formulation of susceptibility.
    • Nonlinear optical processes: intensity dependent index
    • Semiconductor and molecular nonlinearities
    • Inelastic nonlinear optical processes: Stimulated Raman, Brillouin etc.
    • Optical Phase conjugation
    • Nonlinear Fibre Optics: Fibre Fundamentals: overview of basic fibre concepts, types, properties and applications. Photonic Crystals: concepts, 1- 2- and 3-dimensional photonic crystals, Fibre Bragg Gratings
    • Optical Glasses: concepts, optical and thermal properties, fabrication,
    • Microstructured Fibres: guidance mechanisms, optical properties, fabrication and applications, Nonlinear fibre devices based on microstructured fibres: review of operation of a range of devices
    • Thermonuclear laser fusion
    • Quantum optics, quantum cryptography
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment   task

    Type   of assessment

    % of   total assessment for grading purposes




    part   of a combined hurdle

    Outcomes   being assessed / achieved

    Approximate   Timing of Assessment


    Formative & Summative

    30% - 100% *


    1 – 6


    Weeks 2-12


    Written Exams


    0% - 70% *


    1 – 6


    University Exam Period

    Assessment Detail


    Assignments: (30%-100% of total course grade) *

    Depending on the modules selected, assignments constitute 30% to 100% of the total course grade.

    The standard assessment consists of 2 assignments per module or 3 assignments if there is no written exam (6 to 9 assignments in total). This may be varied by negotiation with students at the start of the semester.

    Assignments are used during the semester to address understanding of and ability to use the course material and to provide students with a benchmark for their progress in the course.

    Written Examination: (0%-70% of total course grade) *

    Depending on the modules selected, written exams constitute 0% to 70% of the total course grade (1 exam per module, up to 3 exams in total). Written exams are used to assess the understanding of and ability to use the material covered in modules during the semester.

    * Assignment and examination weighting depends on modules selected by students.


    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.