Course detail

General Physics III (Vibrations, Waves and Optics)

FSI-TF3Acad. year: 2017/2018

Oscillations, waves and optics is a lecture trying to unify physical phenomena as periodic motion, oscillations and waves in different parts of physics as in mechanics, acoustics, electricity and especially in optics. To understand lecture it is necessary to be familiar with the introductory lectures Mechanics and molecular physics and Electricity and magnetism. The optics cover all fundamental chapters of basic university course. The most optical phenomena are described on the wave model but also particle model is used as a first introduction to the quantum physics. The interaction of light with matter is one of the important part of lecture. The geometrical optics is treated more practically. During the lecture there are many experiments performed with active participation of students. The lecture deals essentially with the physical principles but also with contemporary results of research.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Student acquire the basic knowledge of physical description of periodic oscillations, wave physic and optics and practical skil to solve the problems in this field.


Working knowledge of differential, integral, and vector calculus is expected.


Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

HALLIDAY, D. - RESNICK, R. - WALKER, J.: Fyzika (2. vydání). VUTIUM, Brno 2013. (CS)
HALLIDAY, D. - RESNICK, R. - WALKER, J.: Fyzika (2. vydání). VUTIUM, Brno 2013. (CS)
MAIN, I. G.: Kmity a vlny ve fyzice. Academia, 1990. (CS)
HALLIDAY, D. - RESNICK, R. - WALKER, J.: Fyzika. VUTIUM, Brno 2001 (CS)
MAIN, I. G.: Kmity a vlny ve fyzice. Academia, 1990. (CS)
FRENCH, A.P.: Vibrations and Waves. Norton, 1971 (EN)
KUBĚNA, J.: Úvod do optiky. MU Brno 1994, skriptum. (CS)
KUBĚNA, J.: Úvod do optiky. MU Brno 1994, skriptum. (CS)
KVASNICA, J.: Matematický aparát fyziky. Academia, 1997. (CS)

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is taught through lectures explaining the basic principles and theory of the discipline. Exercises are focused on practical topics presented in lectures.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Lectures and theoretical excercises, examination both written and oral.

Language of instruction


Work placements

Not applicable.


The main aim of this subject is to provide an introduction into physics of periodical oscillations, waves and optics.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

80% of presence in exercises and successfuly passed two written tests are necessary before an application for the examination is made. If a minimal presence requirement is not achieved, an aditional written homework must be fulfilled.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme B3A-P Bachelor's

    branch B-FIN , 2. year of study, winter semester, 7 credits, compulsory

Type of course unit



39 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


Introduction. History.
Oscillations. Periodical motion in nature. Simple harmonic oscillator-kinematics, dynamics, energy. Damped oscillator, forced oscillations and resonance. Examples of oscillators. Chaos.
Waves. Waves in one and three dimensions. Types of waves. Wave pulses. Wave speed, wave equation. Principle of superposition. Interference.
Sound. Sound waves. Speed of sound. Interference of sound waves. Doppler effect. Sources and detectors of sound. Hearing.
Electromagnetic waves. Maxwell equations, wave equation. Reflection and refraction. Total reflection. Optical constants.
Light. Models of light. Spectrum of light. Speed of light. Sources and detectors of light. Basic exp. arrangements. Eye.
Optical properties of matter. Microscopic theory. Apsorption and dispersion. Scattering of light. Isotropic and anisotropic materials.
Polarisation. Polarized and unpolarized light. Methods for polarization of light and measurement of polarization.
Interference of light. Standing waves. Interference of two and more waves. Interference of nonmonochromatic waves. Spatial and temporal coherence.
Diffraction of light. Fraunhofer diffraction. Diffraction on gratings.
Image formations. Geometrical optics. Lenses and mirrors. Simple optical devices. Diffraction and image formations. Holography.


26 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


Solving the theoretical exercises and problems with close connection with lectures.