Single-Course English 10 ECTS

Nonlinear optics

Overall Course Objectives

At the end of the course the participants should be able to perform simple evaluations of nonlinear phenomena in optics. Examples will be directed toward applications within optical communications, sensors and lasers.

Learning Objectives

  • relate the induced polarization in a dielectric material to an applied electric field and translate between the material response in the time and frequency domain
  • relate the real and the imaginary part of the material response to an applied electric field and analyse these with respect to their impact on optical material properties
  • discuss and apply susceptibility tensors corresponding to relevant optical materials with respect to the interaction between electromagnetic fields and materials
  • derive the nonlinear wave equation corresponding to various nonlinear phenomena in bulk materials as well as in optical waveguides
  • describe wave propagation in an-isotropic materials, and derive solutions regarding phase-matching conditions in such materials
  • design and analyse nonlinear optical systems aimed at nonlinear frequency-conversion
  • distinguish between Raman and Brillouin scattering and describe these phenomena using susceptibility tensors and the induced polarization
  • describe the intensity dependent refractive index using the induced polarization and apply the corresponding waveequation to analyse transmission of short optical pulses.
  • plan and carry out smaller research type projects and analyse and present the achieved results in form of posters, an oral presentation and a technical article

Course Content

Nonlinear effects in optics is becoming a more and more important topic, which is simply demonstrated by some of the recent applications and research topics within optics: high power short pulsed lasers, supercontinuum sources, sensors, and nonlinear signal processing, including transmission of high capacity signals. In the course relevant material properties are described and the interaction between light and matter is discussed. This is done through the susceptibility and an expansion of the induced polarization in a given material. The nonlinear wave-equation is derived and applied to specific examples.
During the course, two posters are requested from the participants, one after approximately four weeks and the other after approximately 9 weeks. In relation to the final evaluation of the course, the posters are weighted by approximately 20 % of the total course. The remaining 80 % of the course ore obtained from a project, which is carried out through the last 4 weeks of the course and the final exam. The project is concluded by handing in a report describing the project. The report will be presented at the oral exam, and as a requirement to the report, it has to contain elements from the first 8 weeks of the course.

Recommended prerequisites


Teaching Method

Lectures and theoretical exercises incl. poster presentations.



This course is suitable as part of a Ph.D. study plan – see also course 34492.

Fellow teacher:
– Peter Tidemand-Lichtenberg, Campus Risø, Bygning 108,, Phone.: 46 77 45 79

See course in the course database.





13 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 34052
Course type Candidate
Semester start Week 35
Semester end Week 48
Days Tues 8-12, Fri 13-17

15.000,00 DKK