Diploma in Optical Engineering | Free Online Course | Alison

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Diploma in Optical Engineering

Learn about the functions of Gaussian beams in optical systems and ray tracing techniques from this free course.

Free Course
This free online course on optical engineering provides a comprehensive guide on the functions of Gaussian beams in optical systems. Learn how to design lenses and mirrors to carry out some functions, how to calculate principal planes distances in optical systems, how to identify aberrations in a system and the components of coherence as a condition of interference. Start this course now and improve your knowledge of optical engineering.
  • Duration

    10-15 Hours
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This free online course on optical engineering will begin by introducing you to the meaning and background of geometric optics as well as Gaussian beams. You will learn about the importance of studying optics along with how light travels in a homogeneous medium. You will also learn about the simulation tool referred to as the optic software for layout and optimization (OSLO) in optical engineering.

This course will also introduce you to the different types of ray tracing techniques for dealing with circular symmetric optical systems. You will learn about the meaning of aberration along with its classification as well as the concept of paraxial approximation. You will then learn how to test your knowledge of spherical aberration using the optics software for layout and optimization (OSLO).

Finally, this course will introduce you to the phenomenon of interference, the application of the fibre Michelson interferometer to light travelling as well as the function of the phase-shifting interferometer. This course will teach you about Python programming language along with MatLab program styles for modelling optical elements. Begin this course and improve your knowledge of the functions of Gaussian beams in optical systems.

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Introduction to Optical Engineering and OSLO

Aperture Stops and Rays

Ray Tracing Matrix and Principal Planes

Ray Tracing Through Optical Pupils and Aberration

Chromatic Aberration and Aberration Correction

Introduction to Gaussian Beams

Diploma in Optical Engineering - First Assessment

Transformation and Application of Gaussian Beams

Interferometry Basics

Applications of Interference and Optical Engineering

Introduction to Python and MATLAB

Diffractive Optics and Diffraction Grafting

Diploma in Optical Engineering - Second Assessment

Course assessment

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Discuss the meaning and importance of optical engineering.
  • Explain the basics of optical engineering using different analogies.
  • Analyze how light travels in a homogeneous medium and the postulation of the Fermat theorem.
  • Explain the parameters of the transverse magnification as it relates to distancing.
  • Discuss the position of the exit pupil as it relates to the aperture stop.
  • Identify different techniques of the ray tracing matrix in optical systems.
  • Explain the concept of refraction at a planar boundary and its impact on a thin lens.
  • Explain the concept of interferometry basics in optical engineering.
  • Analyze the concept and types of coherence as a condition for interference.
  • Identify the different types of diffraction grafting and the problems associated with binary diffraction grating.


All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Diploma course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Diploma course, you have the option to acquire an official Diploma, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Diploma is:

Ideal for sharing with potential employers - include it in your CV, professional social media profiles and job applications
An indication of your commitment to continuously learn, upskill and achieve high results
An incentive for you to continue empowering yourself through lifelong learning

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