Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Photonics deals with the applied concepts and constructs of electromagnetism across the boundaries of science and engineering. The time dynamics of electromagnetic fields, as solutions to Maxwell’s equations, underpin all of optics, communication signal and power propagation in transmission lines, waveguides and antennas. Specific instances of photon-induced amplification forming laser systems are of central focus in this holistic and balanced course.

Lectorials and blended delivery of knowledge together with engaging laboratory and computational experiments will elucidate electromagnetism and laser technologies to allow advanced understanding of EM applications as learning outcomes.



  • Semester 1 - 2022

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): PHYS3360. Students who have successfully completed PHYS3360 are not eligible to enrol in PHYS3112.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Explain the importance of electromagnetism in human endeavour based on a profound understanding of light as an EM wave, its sources, including lasers sources, properties and behaviour, uses and guidance.

2. Solve qualitative and quantitative problems, using appropriate mathematical and computing techniques.

3. Perform experiments which involve making correct and appropriate use of a range of scientific equipment, keeping an accurate record of experimental work and analysing results and reaching non-trivial conclusions from them.

4. Communicate the results of both theoretical and experimental work in various forms including written reports, oral presentations and poster presentations.

5. Contribute to team and group work for scientific investigations and for the process of learning.


The topics to be covered include:

  • Electromagnetism: wave theory and wave propagation
  • Reflections, transmission and scatter
  • Waveguides and Cavities
  • Photons: sources and properties
  • Spontaneous emission, stimulated emission and lasers
  • Transport of photons
  • Applications of light in industry, research and the spectrum of STEMM


Students must have successfully completed MATH2310, and either PHYS2112 or PHYS2160 or PHYS2260 to enrol in this course. If students have successfully completed PHYS3360 they cannot enrol in this course.

Assessment items

Quiz: Weekly Quiz

Written Assignment: Assignments

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Laboratory Exercises

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for 11 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 1

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.