Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, one 1-hour session and one 2-hour session


8.02 Physics II (or equivalent)
18.03SC Differential Equations
2.004 Dynamics and Control II or permission of the instructor


Working with others on the homework is allowed, but you should write your own solutions and make sure you understand them before handing in. Projects are collaborative by definition.

Late Policy

We will accept late homework but you lose 20% of the grade per day after the due date. The 1st homework is exempt from this policy (but please make sure to turn it in by the due date of the 2nd homework.)

Homework/Quiz Exemptions

In emergency situations, please contact the instructor and the TA to request extensions. In some occasions, we might require you to provide a note from MIT Medical or one of the counseling deans.

Final Exam

The final exam is regulated by the Registrar's office. Standard Institute policies apply for absence from the final exam.

Grading Policies

Undergraduate students are recommended to enroll for 2.71. Graduate students and advanced undergraduate students, particularly those planning to pursue optics at the graduate level, should enroll for 2.710. Students in 2.710 will complete extra homework problems and a group project.

2.71 2.710
Homework 30% 25%
Quizzes 40% 30%
Projects n/a 20%
Final exam 30% 25%

Homework Grading

Each problem is worth 3 points; you earn

  • all 3 points if you solve the problem perfectly,
  • 2 points if you got the main idea but made minor error(s)
  • 1 point if you went seriously astray
  • 0 points if you did not attempt the problem

Term Grades

We do not grade on a curve; we use the Institute grade definitions.

Required Texts

Buy at Amazon Hecht, Eugene. Optics. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 2001. ISBN: 9780805385663.

Buy at Amazon Goodman, Joseph W. Introduction to Fourier Optics. Englewood, CO: Roberts & Co., 2004. ISBN: 9780974707723.

Recommended Texts

Buy at Amazon Haus, Hermann A. Waves and Fields in Optoelectronics. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1983. ISBN: 9780139460531.

Buy at Amazon Klein, Miles V., and Thomas Furtak. Optics. New York, NY: Wiley, 1986. ISBN: 9780471872979.

Buy at Amazon Saleh, Bahaa E. A., and Malvin Carl Teich. Fundamentals of Photonics. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Interscience, 2007. ISBN: 9780471358329.

Buy at Amazon Jenkins, Francis A., and Harvey E. White. Fundamentals of Optics. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1976. ISBN: 9780070323308.

Buy at Amazon Smith, Warren J. Modern Optical Engineering. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2007. ISBN: 9780071476874.