Course detail

General Physics III (Vibrations, Waves and Optics)

FSI-TF3Acad. year: 2020/2021

Vibrations, 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 the lecture it is necessary to be familiar with the introductory lectures Mechanics and molecular physics and Electricity and magnetism. The optics covers all fundamental chapters of basic university course.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Students acquire basic knowledge of physics of periodic oscillations, waves and optics and the related calculus. Students gain an appreciation of the wide applicability of the presented concepts and acquire practical skills with related problems.


Knowledge of mechanics, electricity and magnetism in the range of standard university courses, practical knowledge of mathematical analysis.


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

2 written tests in term. Examination has written and oral part.

Language of instruction


Work placements

Not applicable.


1. Knowledge about a variety of physical phenomena, including mechanical and electrical oscillations, mechanical and electromagnetic waves and optics, at the level of the basic course of general physics.
2. Appreciation of the wide applicability of vibration and wave concepts.
3. Experience with the related mathematical description.

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

80% attendance in classes and passing two written tests.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme B-FIN-P Bachelor's, 2. year of study, winter semester, 7 credits, compulsory

Type of course unit



39 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


Vibrations: Simple harmonic motion, examples of harmonic oscillators, damped oscillator, forced vibrations and resonance. Superposition of periodic motions. Fourier series, Fourier transforms, linear systems. Coupled oscillators and normal modes.
Waves: Progressive waves in continuous media. Waves on a string, wave equation, standing waves. Reflection and transmission of wave pulses. Dispersion, wave packets and group velocity. Sound waves in gas, waves in 3D, interference, Doppler effect.
Optics: Wave solutions to Maxwell’s equations in vacuum, electromagnetic waves in matter, plane waves, polarization. Reflection and refraction, total reflection, evanescent wave. Geometrical optics, images, lenses and mirrors, simple optical devices. Interference of light, double-slit experiment, coherence, interference from thin films, interferometers. Diffraction of light, Huyghens principle, diffraction from single slit, circular aperture, and multiple slit. Diffraction gratings. Fresnel and Fraunhofer diffraction, angular spectrum representation, Fresnel-Kirchhoff diffraction integral.


26 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


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