Physics 545 Nonlinear Optics

Washington State University, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Syllabus - Spring 2010


  • Instructor: Mark G. Kuzyk
  • Office: Webster Hall 746A
  • Telephone: 509-335-4672
  • Email::
  • Office Hours: By Appointment


  • Required Textbook: R. Boyd, Nonlinear Optics, 3rd edition
  • Useful Web site:
  • ANGEL Web Site: Log on to for course materials.
  • Required Software: MiKTeX with text editor and bibliography management software (see a Physicist's Toolbox for a more detailed description).


  • Homework 20%
  • Midterm 30%
  • Book Sections 30%
  • Committee Contribution 10%
  • Oral Presentation 10%


Homework will be assigned during lecture. The due date will typically be one to two weeks from the date the problems are assigned. Discussion amongst students are encouraged but homework must be your own work.


The midterm will be given at the end of March and will be cumulative.



A note to udergraduates who want to take this class.


The lectures will focus on the physics fundamentals of the topics covered. Derivations will not always be covered in detail, so the student is expected to fill in the missing steps. The student will also be responsible for inventing problems and providing solutions for the material covered.

A different student will be responsible for transcribing each lecture into the form of a book section using LaTeX. The written section must fill in the derivational details as well as develop the physical ideas. Each section is expected to include figures and clear explanations. Note that these sections may not be a paraphrased version of the textbook or any other book or web page, but must be the student's own writing. The goal of this exercise is to gain a deeper understanding of the material, learn technical writing skills and to become familiar with research tools and techniques. Note: If writing up lecture notes ends up being too time consuming, I will allow them to be hand-written.

Two additional classmates will be assigned to help with the writing, but the ultimate responsibility is with the lead student. If you cannot make it to class, you must contact another student in the class to take your place, or you get a zero on that section. So, plan ahead! Working copies of each chapter will be posted on the class Yahoo page for discussion.

Oral Presentations

Each student will present a 12 minute talk (it will be timed) on a topic of current research (based on a publication in a refereed journal). The paper reference will be posted one week in advance of the talk so that all of the students in the class have knowledge of the topic beforehand. Two students will be picked at random to ask intelligent questions.

Intellectual Honesty

Any form of cheating or plagiarism will not be tolerated. Misconduct will be punished according to university guidelines. Read about a faculty member who got fired for plagiarizing one of my papers.

Disability Accommodations

Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and may need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please visit the Disability Resource Center (DRC). All accommodations MUST be approved through the DRC (Washington Building, Room 217). Please stop by or call 509-335-3417 to make an appointment with a disability specialist.If you have any questions, please contact Rosie Pavlov at  or 509-335-3417.