Current Students

Current Students

Postgraduate Study


New postgraduate students in the coursework program of Masters and Graduate Diploma in Photonics & Optical Science are invited to attend lunch and a School tour.

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PHYS 5021 Optical instrumentation and Imaging
6 credit points. Session: Semester 2. Classes: 3 hours per week. Assessment: laboratory and classroom assignments, written exam.
Geometrical optics and optical design –image formation, lenses and mirrors, aberrations and tolerancing; collimators, cameras, objective lenses. Use of computer design packages to design optical systems for specific applications. Computer-based image processing principles in the spatial and frequency domains - noise removal, tomography and image restoration techniques.

PHYS 5022 Optical materials and methods
6 credit points. Session: Semester 1. Classes: 3 hours per week. Assessment: laboratory and classroom assignments, written exam.
Properties and optical application of glasses, crystals, metals and semiconductors. Production techniques including crystal growth, epitaxial growth of optoelectronic materials, interfaces and junctions, quantum wells, optical thin films. Training in techniques for micro-fabricating optical devices including patterning by microlithography, etching and annealing, thin film deposition. Training in laboratory practice including data gathering and analysis, computer control of laboratory equipment.

PHYS 5024 Optical sources and detectors
6 credit points. Session: Semester 1. Classes: 3 hours per week. Assessment: assignments, written exam.
Detailed overview of sources and detectors of optical radiation. Principles of operation and application of lasers (diode lasers, fibre lasers and solid state diode-pumped lasers; short pulse lasers and high power gas lasers); light emitting diodes and other sources of radiation. The properties of semiconductor lasers and detectors are explained in terms of the materials properties of semiconductors.

PHYS 5025 Biophotonics and microscopy
6 credit points. Session: Semester 2. Classes: 3 hours per week. Assessment: laboratory and classrrom assignments, written exam.
Optical techniques to probe living tissue either via imaging or spectral analysis: principles of imaging in tissue; the main techniques: fluorescence imaging, confocal microscopy, two-photon microscopy, optical coherence tomography and endoscopic imaging; the use of laser tweezers and microfluidics for analyzing small biological samples; biochemical detection (Raman spectroscopy, surface plasmon sensors). Access to the Electron Microscope Unit facilities will provide students with practical training in these techniques.

PHYS 5026 Physical and nonlinear optics
6 credit points. Session: Semester 1. Classes: 3 hours per week. Assessment: laboratory and classroom assignments, written exam.
Polarization, coherence, diffraction, Fourier properties of lenses and optical systems, spatial filtering and holography. Phenomena to be covered that result from nonlinear polarization include electro optic effect, second harmonic generation, self and cross phase modulation, four wave mixing and soliton generation and their impact on communications systems.

PHYS 5027 Quantum optics and nanophotonics
6 credit points. Session: Semester 2. Classes: 3 hours per week. Assessment: laboratory and classroom assignments, written exam.
Quantum optics: covers effects associated with quantization of light and photon statistics and in a non-mathematical fashion, address a range of topics of current interest including intensity interferometry, quantum cryptography, optical quantum computing and atom optics including Bose Einstein condensates and atom lasers. Nanophotonics: optical propagation in materials with sub-wavelength structuring so light is guided not only by refraction but also diffraction. Covers photonic crystals including photonic crystal fibres, plasmonics, photonic ‘nanowires’ and metamaterials. Students use simulation packages to design devices like high Q nano-resonators with these materials, and review fabrication approaches.

PHYS 5028 Optics in industry
6 credit points. Session: Semester 2. Classes: 3 hours per week. Assessment: classroom assignments, written exam.
Apply knowledge developed in course to perform a detailed optical analysis of a consumer or industry product whose operation embodies many of the principles discussed in this course. Examples include a phone camera or a DVD player.
Provide students with an understanding of the factors that become increasingly important when working as a professional in an industry/commercial environment. These include Intellectual property, Business plans and Project Management. Carry out project-based activity to develop a business case for a specific product and draw up a project plan.


ELEC 5511 Optical Communications Systems
6 credit points. Session: Semester 2. Classes: 2 hours of lectures and a 2 hour lab/tutorial per week. Assessment: Assignments and labs 25%, end of semester exam 75%.
Introduction to optical fibre communications. Optical fibre transmission characteristics; fibre modes, multi-mode fibres, single-mode fibres, dispersion, loss. Semiconductor and fibre laser signal sources; dynamic laser models, switching, chirp, noise, optical transmitters. Optical modulation techniques. Optical amplifiers and repeaters, noise characteristics. Fibre devices, gratings, multiplexers. Optical detectors, shot noise and avalanche noise. Optical receiver and regenerator structures; sensitivity and error rate performance. Photonic switching and processing. Optical local area networks. Multi-channel multiplexing techniques. Design of optical fibre communication systems.

PHYS5019 Research Methodology and Project
24 credit points. Session: Semester 1 or 2. Assessment: written report.
This unit is available to students undertaking a Masters by coursework program in the School of Physics. Students select a research project in consultation with the course coordinator on a subject consistent with the course material covered in the first two semesters. The project will provide an opportunity for students to conduct independent publishable research with training provided in experimental research, data analysis and interpretation, research writing and presentation skills.

Timetable document contains the timetable for the Masters and Graduate Diploma degrees.




2011 Semester One
Lectures begin Monday 28 Febryary
AVCC Common Week/non-teaching Easter period Friday 22 to Friday 29 April
Study vacation Monday 6 June to Friday 10 June
Examination period Monday 13 June to Saturday 25 June
Semester ends Saturday 25 June
AVCC Common Week/non-teaching period Monday 4 July to Friday 8 July

Semester Two

Lectures begin Monday 25 July
AVCC Common Week/non-teaching period Monday 26 to Friday 30 September
Study vacation Monday 31 Octber to Friday 4 November
Examination period Monday 7 November to Saturday 19 November
Semester ends Saturday 19 November