Usefulness of an RF Circuit Design Class

  • Thread starter roeb
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I'm considering taking an RF circuit design class that would focus heavily on transmission lines and microwave circuits. It's supposed to be a tough class but I think I would enjoy it because I really like E&M. The problem is that if I take this class I won't be able to take a photonics class due to scheduling conflicts.

Ultimately, I plan to go on to graduate school and focus on photonics, it's unlikely that I will be doing any RF or microwave engineering. Anyone have any strong thoughts on which class I should take? The RF class seems like a nice little diversion but I don't know if I'll really be putting myself at a disadvantage.

I realize that graduate schools don't necessarily expect incoming students to have taken a bunch of courses already, but it's a very difficult decision because I think I'd enjoy both classes. In terms of employment prospects for undergraduates, I would assume that having microwave engineering knowledge would be much more useful than knowing a lot about semiconductor lasers/optics.
 

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There is a growing cross between photonics and microwaves. One of the cool, and hot research going on is converting the frequency of laser light (in nanometers) to microwaves by the use of photomixing, and the generation of combs which could be used to accurately measure frequencies of lasers with super high precision.

http://www.sstd.rl.ac.uk/mmt/components_photomixers.php [Broken]

One of the primary applications of this will be the next generation of atomic clocks.
 
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