MATLAB-BASED EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE FOR DIFFRACTIVE OPTICS

F. Giménez1, L. Remón2, W.D. Furlan2, A. Pons2, J.A. Monsoriu1

1Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (SPAIN)
2Universidad de Valencia (SPAIN)
In our experience of teaching physics at university level we have learned that the mathematical relationships between the parameters that control a process are important, but not sufficient, to understand a process. Such knowledge will only be consolidated if the new concept is incorporated by student in his field of study. In this way, the introduction of Information and Communication Technologies for teaching has the advantage of offering the possibility of showing from different points of view the matter of study. For example, computer simulations allow to present virtual experiments to the students and they can decide which are the correct values to be able to obtain and visualize certain physical phenomena. In our opinion, this way of learning is much better for students both in terms of understanding and visualizing rather than just attending to lectures, because it permits a closer interaction between the students and the matter of study. In this contribution we present a new graphical interface generated in MATLAB GUI (Graphical User Interface) for Optics courses characterized by its friendly appearance. This GUI allows the physics students to learn easily and rapidly about the focusing properties of diffractive lenses when varying its characteristics. Furthermore, from a didactic point of view, the program also allows to exemplify certain aspects of the theory of the diffraction.