Photonics Education Tools(PET)

This project is devoted to the development of a comprehensive set of education tools for photonics. This began with the development of applets and a necessary framework focused on online teaching, experimentation and research. Those resources were developed through the generous support of the National Science Foundation (NSF) from 1999-2003.

The main advantage of embedding design into optics courses, by using simulation software, is that it makes the underlying and fundamental principles very easy to understand by creating a platform on which students can experiment with the various facts and design new systems which may otherwise require a large and an expensive setup of laboratory equipment.

In this way we hope to simplify and bring the scientific principles underlying today's high-tech photonic devices to more students and to the general public.The Applets developed so far cover the following areas: Ray Tracing, Gaussian Beams, Polarization, Gain Medium, Cavities, Modulators, Light Sources, Quantum - Electronics, and Photonic Devices. Links to other websites dealing with educational applets can be found here Educational Applet Sites Your input is valuable for the further improvement of these applets.

More recently, we have began to focus on the use of Macromedia Flash as an alternative toolbox for the development of these education tools. You will find, dispersed throughout this education resource, new versions of some of the applets that have been converted to flash.

Please let us know your thoughts on ways that we can improve this resource.

Alexander N. Cartwright, University at Buffalo