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Postgraduate course

Laboratory Course in Optics

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codePHYS263
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish if english-speaking students attend the seminars, otherwise Norwegian
  • Resources

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

Objectives: The course objective is to make the student familiar with both historically important optical experiments and modern optical instruments and methods. The student will also have the opportunity to learn how to use and calibrate optical measuring equipment and identify sources of error and uncertainty in practical work. In addition, the student will learn to present experimental results in the form of a scientific report, both written and oral.

Content: This course gives a practical introduction to the field of optics. Laboratory exercises are in focus, however there might also be an opportunity for field work. The following topics are addressed: Polarization, diffraction, interference, spatial filtering, scattering and absorption of light from particles in water and air.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course

the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student can

  • understand the physics principles behind the experiments.
  • identify errors in the experiments.
  • understand the functions of components used in the experiments.


The student can

  • use basic optical equipment in the laboratory to carry our experiments
  • write scientific reports that in a clear way presents the experimental work
  • give an oral presentation of the experimental work

General competence

The student can

  • explain the theoretical and practical limitations of laboratory experiments
  • assess the quality of their own results based on critical thinking

Required Previous Knowledge


Recommended Previous Knowledge


Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

FYS264: 6 studiepoeng

Teaching and learning methods


Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

  • Compulsory attendance in all laboratory excercises
  • Lab report. Compulsory assignments are valid in 2 subsequent semesters.
  • Compulsory assignment (presentation) is valid for 2 subsequent semesters.

Forms of Assessment

The forms of assessment are:

  • Reports , 50% of total grade.
  • Presentation (20 min), 10% of total grade.
  • Oral examination (45 mins), 40% of total grade.

Examination Support Material


Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Reading List

The reading list will be ready before June 1st for the autumn semester and December 1st for the spring semester. 

Programme Committee

The Programme committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.

Course Administrator

The Department of Physics and technology has the administrative responsibility for the course.

Exam information