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Michigan State UniversityPHY 431 Optics at MSU

PHY 431 Optics | Labs

Here is a tentative schedule for the labs.

You are required to print and study the lab instructions posted online in advance. You will lose 1 point out of 10 for that lab report if you do not bring a printed copy of the lab instruction to the lab.


Click here for a write-up example.
A sample of a lab report from PHY 192 in the Department is here.
A lank lab report document is available as a .doc Word document from PHY 192. Click here to download.
The MIT Junior Lab course website provides an APS style report example and TeX/LaTeX template. You can also find several very useful links to writing resources. Check



Lab Instructions

Report Due

1: Aug 27

No Labs


2: Sep 2-3

L1: Thin Lens

Readind/Reference Materials:


3: Sep 9-10

L1: Thin Lens

Thin lens equastions - error analysis, Excel spreadsheet

Reference: Fundamental Optics, a field guide from CVI Melles Griot. A good resource reviing L1 to L4 for those who are interested in doing research in optical science.

Sep 16-17

4: Sep 16-17

L2: Telescope and Microscope

Lecture notes: Telescope, Microscope, and Camera

Lecture notes: Stops, Pupils, and Windows

Sep 23-24

5: Sep 23-24

L3: Lens Aberration

Reference: Comparison of optical aberrations with examples

Sep 30-Oct 1

6: Sep 30-Oct 1

L4: Polarized Light


Polarization Tutorial; Polarization Control.

Fresnel's equations - an online calculator.

Oct 7-8

7: Oct 7-8

L5: Interference Fringes & Newton’s Rings

Oct 14-15

8: Oct 14-15

L6: Michelson Interferometer

Oct 21-22

9: Oct 21-22

No Labs. (Group Project Presentations)


10: Oct 28-29

L7: Diffraction Slits and Gratings

Nov 4-5

11: Nov 4-5

L8: Spatial Filtering

Nov 11-12

12: Nov 11-12

L9: Holograms

Nov. 18-19





13: Nov 18-19

Term paper writing session/Make-up lab

14: Nov 25-26

No Labs. Thanksgiving & Final Exam

15. Dec 2-3