I will be a junior in physics this fall. I am done with all undergraduate level classical mechanics, E&M and quantum mechanics courses. I think I want to do experimental physics. I have been working under an AMO physics professor whose research is about ultracold atoms and quantum optics. I have been building electronic apparatuses for the experiment and laying out circuit boards most of the time, nothing closely related to physics yet. I definitely want to go to a good grad school. Meanwhile, I don't think I have a solid grasp of the materials from my physics classes, especially E&M and quantum, since I didn't push myself at all and only got by doing only the minimum work needed to get good grades on the homework and exams, which were not difficult at all. So this is my situation, now I want to decide which class to take between the two: ECE 455 Optical Electronics Subject Area: Microelectronics and Quantum Electronics Course Prerequisites: Credit in ECE 450 or PHYS 436 (this is the second semester of E&M with Griffiths' book) Description: Overview of laser and optical systems with emphasis on optical beams and resonant laser cavities; characteristics of typical lasers (gas, solid state and semiconductor); and application of optical devices. Goals: To introduce the student to the generation, propagation, and detection of optical electromagnetic waves. Topics: * Optical beams and cavities: Review of electromagnetics, ray tracing, ABCD matrix, stable cavities, Gaussian beams, resonant cavities * Interaction of Photons and Matter: Blackbody radiation, Einstein coefficients, lineshape functions, gain, absorption, saturation * Basic Laser Theory: Threshold gain, laser oscillation, steady-state and dynamic systems, Q-switching, mode-locking * Laser Systems: 3- and 4-level lasers, rare-earth-ion lasers, broad-band-gain, tunable lasers, gas discharge lasers * Nonlinear processes and harmonic generation * Semiconductor lasers: Review of semiconductor fundamentals, absorption, gain, oscillation, optical modes * Final project presentation Texts: J. T. Verdeyen, Laser Electronics, 3rd ed., Prentice-Hall. References W. Silfvast, Laser Fundamentals A. Yariv, Optical Electronics PHYS 580 Quantum Mechanics I , this is first year graduate level course on quantum mechancis Second course in quantum mechanics for students with a good background in wave mechanics and atomic and molecular structure. Operators, state vectors, and the formal structure of quantum theory; operator treatments of simple systems; angular momentum and vector addition coefficients; stationary state perturbation theory; introduction to scattering theory for particles without spin, partial wave analysis, and Born approximation; examples taken from atomic, nuclear, and elementary particle physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 485 or PHYS 487.