Are these two optics courses too similar to justify taking?

  • #1
There are two courses at my school involving optics. I'm not sure if they are too similar that taking both would be a waste of time, or if they would be different enough that it would be ok to take both.

The first one is from the electrical engineering department, here is the course description:
Planar dielectric waveguides; single mode optical fibers; integrated optics waveguides and devices; semiconductor lasers; optical detectors; optical communications links.
It uses this textbook: “Photonics: Optical Electronics in Modern Communications”, by A. Yariv and P. Yeh, 6th Ed, 2007.

The other course is from the physics department:
Principles and applications of optical physics. Interference, diffraction, coherence, polarization, Fresnel relations, optical coatings, waves in dielectric media, Gaussian beams, waveguides, optical cavities, lasers, fibre optics, and Fourier optics.
with the textbook Classical and Modern Optics by Dan Steck.

If they are too similar I might replace one with a graduate statistical mechanics course. If not, I would take both.

What do you think? Keeping in mind I will for sure take this EM course:
Applications of Maxwell's theory. Wave propagation in dielectrics, conductors and plasmas, wave guides, radiation, antennae, and special relativity.
Thanks!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
kuruman
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Why don't you ask the course instructors to compare for you the two courses and give you some guidance. I am sure they are aware of each other and they are best qualified to know how much their courses overlap. At some institutions, course descriptions offered by two different department and are substantially similar carry the statement "Credit not offered for both EE XXX and PHYS YYY." I would also suspect that the physics course is more likely to be more theoretical and less "hands on" than the EE course, especially if it is taught by a theoretical physicist.
 
  • #3
I emailed the course instructor for the physics one. He was unaware that the EE one even existed. The Physics one is taught by an experimentalist and has a lab portion as well, so I think it would be a more applied course. I am interested in quantum optics and integrated photonics if that is any help.
 

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